Jill Stein Weighs In On Keystone Pipeline Debate

This article originally appeared in The Berkshire Beacon, a newspaper published in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. It was reposted to Green Party Watch.

The Berkshire Beacon
March 18, 2013

Jill Stein arrested protesting Keystone XL

The planet is heating up fast – a scientific study published last week reveals global surface temperatures are the hottest they’ve been in 4,000 years, with the rate of warming over the past century greater than any temperature trend over the past 11,000 years.

And as the Earth heats up, so does the national debate surrounding the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

President Barack Obama is expected to make a decision within the next few months on whether or not to allow the 875-mile northern leg of TransCanada’s pipeline – running from Alberta, Canada into Montana and down through Nebraska – to be built. Keystone XL requires the President’s executive approval because it crosses the U.S – Canadian border.

Pres. Obama, who initially delayed a final decision on the pipeline until after the 2012 election, will make his decision based on recommendations from the U.S. State Department.

The state department released its Environmental Impact Statement on the $3.3 billion dollar pipeline project two weeks ago. The report contends the pipeline would have no significant environmental impact and states that approval or disapproval of the project “is unlikely to have a significant impact on the rate of rate of development in the oil sands.”

If approved by Pres. Obama, Keystone XL would transport 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state department’s Environmental Impact Statement follows in the wake of the largest climate rally in history, when over 40,000 people gathered on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to demand that Pres. Obama stay true to his words about responding to the threat of climate change by first using his executive authority to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. The rally was organized by the climate non-profit group 350.org in partnership with the Sierra Club, the Hip Hop Caucus and more than 160 other partnering organizations.

Lexington, Mass., resident and Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein attended the Feb.17 Forward on Climate rally. In a pre-rally press event, she described herself as a proponent of real climate solutions, not simply an “all of the above” energy approach favored by Pres. Obama.

“The climate does not like all of the above. The climate does not like fossil fuels, whether you counterbalance it with renewable energy or not. Fossil fuels are deadly for the climate, so it’s very important that we not create new forms of fossil fuel energy,” Stein said in remarks to The Beacon.

U.S. Representative Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) holds a different view: “I strongly support Pres. Obama’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy that seeks to develop every source of energy in the United States. His policies have helped increase our energy security by reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.

“In fact, domestic oil and natural gas production has reached its highest levels since 2003. And tens of thousands of jobs have been created in the process.”

The congressman did not explicitly state his stance on the Keystone XL pipeline, saying instead, “I agree with Secretary [of State John] Kerry that we must respect the process being conducted by the professional at the State Department before making a final judgment.”

However, Rep. Neal did bring up the pro-pipeline point that approving Keystone XL would help promote U.S. relations with Canada.

“As a college student, I participated in the first Earth Day,” he said. “I have been endorsed by groups like the Sierra Club because of my work in Congress to preserve and protect our environment.

“And in recent years, I have seen tornadoes, hurricanes and floods damage communities across Massachusetts. Climate change is an issue I take very seriously. But I am equally concerned about maintaining a good relationship with Canada, a loyal ally and our largest trading partner.

“It simply would not be in the best interests of the United States if Canadian oil is sold to China. So I agree with Sec. Kerry that we should let the professionals do their job. It is too important of a decision to be made hastily.”

Sec. Kerry has yet to make his recommendation regarding Keystone XL to Pres. Obama, but one candidate hoping to fill Sec.Kerry’s vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts appears to be among those not in favor of the pipeline.

While Ed Markey’s senate campaign could not be reached for comment on the issue, the campaign website does state, “Ed’s also taken on the Republicans’ ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ campaign by opposing the Keystone XL pipeline and helped prevent drilling in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

The Keystone XL pipeline decision is solely in the hands of Pres. Obama, and the stakes could not be higher.

As Dr. Stein explained at the Forward on Climate rally, “We’re teetering on the brink right now…Between the heat waves and the storms, the droughts, the rising price of food, let alone the accelerating rise of oceans, we are in very serious trouble with less than one degree Centigrade [of warming], and we’re looking at already at least four to six degrees this century. So we’re basically kissing it goodbye, right now.

“I think it’s a really good time to reevaluate our strategy here…The least evil is still going to kill us. There may be a difference between Democrats and Republicans, but it’s not enough to save our lives, to save our jobs and to save our planet.”

10 thoughts on “Jill Stein Weighs In On Keystone Pipeline Debate

  1. Steven Berson

    One thing libertarians should also be concerned about with the Keystone Pipeline is numerous abuses of eminent domain, as well as corporatist subsidies and preferential treatment by gov for the businesses involved with it.

  2. paulie

    There’s also the lack of full liability for environmental risks and costs (including possibly to people’s health).

  3. Dave Terry

    OTOH: If the Greenies would simply remove their heads from the sand, they’d note that the earth isn’t as hot as they think it is.

    Would some of you folks send some of your excess heat to Oregon. It has been unseasonably cold this year.


  4. paulie

    Actually, Stein is correct.

    they’d note that the earth isn’t as hot as they think it is.

    Climate destabilization is a lot more complicated than that.

    Would some of you folks send some of your excess heat to Oregon. It has been unseasonably cold this year.

    And apparently, we even have some simpletons here who don’t understand the difference between climate and weather.

  5. Dave Terry


    Explain to this simpleton the difference between Hot and Cold!

    And tell us HOW to bring on the NEXT Ice Age.

    Maybe you should stop breathing. It won’t hurt!

  6. paulie

    When you learn to read what I said, not what you wish or imagine I said, I might explain something to you.

    In the meantime, text books are readily available, as are internet search engines and other resources you can use.

  7. Dave Terry

    I don’t WISH you said anything!
    And I won’t even TRY to IMAGINE what you said.

    Perhaps you should stop reading from your Holy Book and deal with what’s happening on earth; here and now.

  8. paulie

    I am.

    It’s called climate destabilization, which means increased deviations from the usual ranges of temperature and various other measures, more sudden and dramatic shifts, and unleashing of greater forces (tide, wind, seismic etc) as a result.

    That says nothing about whether any particular winter in one particular place was hot or cold. That’s weather – we’re talking about climate. Try consulting a dictionary or some other elementary reference materials; I am not interested in being your remedial instructor, even if I was being paid for it, which I am not.

  9. Dave Terry

    JS- “The planet is heating up fast – a scientific study published last week reveals global surface temperatures are the hottest they’ve been in 4,000 years,

    WOW! 4000 years. Isn’t it a shame the folks back then didn’t even suspect that the world was coming to an end!

    What I can’t figure out is how the world was saved and WHO did it? I guess the world just decided to cool off for a while.

    Some nefarious nonbeliever has been passing around rumors that this same warming and cooling of the earth has been going on AND OFF for a few billion years.

    They even talk about “ice ages”, can you imagine the gall of those people telling stories like that.

    Thank God we have all these government folks
    (and their tax supported institutions) to keep us sufficiently informed and frightened.

  10. paulie

    this same warming and cooling …

    No, not the same. Range/degree of variation is the issue. Maybe too complicated for some simpletons to grasp.

    They even talk about “ice ages”

    The thing about destabilization is that both extreme heat and extreme cold become increasingly likely. Which, incidentally, means that the fairly narrow range of temperatures hospitable to human and most other existing terrestrial life becomes increasingly less prevalent.

    Which, of course, is not a problem, if we just work backwards from the fact that some people propose statist “solutions” to it, so the easiest way to hold those off is to deny that the problem exists.

    Hey, it works for ostriches.

    It worked even more spectacularly for the dodo, which might just point the way for our evolutionary track if we keep on this same course.

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