by Jason Kowalski
May 8 (6 days ago)
I’ve spent the last week running around Washington DC talking to Senators and our allies on Capitol Hill to defeat the latest attempt to push Keystone XL through Congress.
Today I have some good news: it looks like this bill will be going down in defeat without ever coming to the floor. Thanks to your phone calls and work in the streets in key states across the US, Big Oil realized they didn’t have the votes to pass Keystone XL, and are pulling back.
What made the difference in this push was the work of 350.org organizers and our allies who stepped up to organize actions outside of key Senators’ offices, combined with the flood of phone calls to DC offices that showed that the opposition to Keystone XL remains as strong as ever.
Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida is in a strange position: he says he believes in climate science, but also says he supports the pipeline. However, after we shut down his DC phone lines w calls, and held an action in front of his Miami office, Sen. Nelson did some mental gymnastics to swing our way. He’s now saying that he supports Keystone but *only* if 100% of the oil stays in the US, which he knows is a condition that Big Oil refuses to accept. This should be much simpler: either Sen. Nelson believes in climate science, or he wants to build a giant tar sands pipeline. He should be taking a stronger stand.
Just the threat of more actions from our network was enough to move some Senators off the fence — which is a very high compliment to our work. Don’t take my word for it though: here are just a few of the news articles about the vote that pay tribute to the work of 350.org organizers and our allies:
“Keystone Pipeline Backers, Opponents Spar Ahead Of Vote,” Associated Press, May 5th
“Senators push Keystone XL vote for political gain,” The Ed Show, May 7th.
“Denver Calls on Colorado Senators to Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline,” EcoWatch, May 8th.
“KXL Activists Blast Pro-Keystone Dems in Senate” Common Dreams, May 5th.
Of course, it’s always possible that there will be new attempts to push the pipeline through Congress. But every time they fail, it makes the next push more difficult for Big Oil. In the weird world of Washington, this is what progress looks like, and you are an essential part of making it happen.
High fives all around,