President Barack Obama’s announcement today that the administration is rejecting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline for failing to be in the national interest is a welcome development, finally putting an end to this nine-year saga. Obama got it exactly right: Measures that curb climate change create jobs and help consumers as well as save the planet.
Public Citizen concluded in a landmark 2013 report that the pipeline failed the national interest test, as the project was designed to accommodate foreign and oil priorities at the expense of American consumers and the environment. But Big Oil kept pushing, just as it is attempting again on a campaign to lift the oil export ban.
Big Oil is failing the American public by refusing to hold an honest debate about the comprehensive energy and environmental challenges facing our nation. The industry refuses to acknowledge the science of climate change – even burying the conclusions of its own scientists while funding climate deniers – in an effort to block policies and regulations to combat the problem.
Industry’s campaigns dismiss the technological revolution in renewable energy and energy efficiency that is driving innovation and delivering value to consumers. Today’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline should be viewed as an opportunity to turn the page away from Big Oil’s priorities. Instead we should begin adopting a sustainable energy pathway that prioritizes household consumers and establishes the United States as a leader in fighting climate change and manufacturing the technologies to succeed.