Whether or not stopping tar sands is needed is not the main issue; Climate chaos is here, happening on a grand scale and needs to be resisted through serious attempts to shut down the anthropogenic industries most responsible. This was identified– along with coal– as the tar sands located in Canada. The level of damage done has only grown, the level of damage predicted takes a sharp curve upward over the next couple of decades. The problem is the speed of other developments, and the single focus of the Big Green movement on KXL.
Let’s scan this excellent story on the Flanagan South pipeline, brought to you by Enbridge. It’s not on the radar because it was taken out of federeal jurisdiction through the quashing of the intent of regulations– woefully insufficient– that already exist.
If a pipeline doesn’t cross an international boundary, American regulation puts the responsibility to the army corps of engineers:
For Flanagan’s approval, the Army Corps used a permitting process called Nationwide Permit 12, a process that gives expedited approval to projects like access roads and pipelines that do not “result in the loss of greater than 1/2-acre of waters of the United States for each single and complete project.”
No problem, then! Simply take all the acreage as separate projects so they never total the multiple acres affected. By breaking up the project into as many different sections as possible, the pipeline can be railroaded through, driving the tracks right over the intent of water preservation that is already on the books.
The pipe would be just shy of the size of Keystone– over 600 000 barrels and is thus even a little larger than Enbridge’s public relations pipeline problem, Gateway, in British Columbia. Flanagan South would take both tar sands bitumen as well as Bakken fracked tight oil. They would be loaded in Illinois, and shipped to the pipeline capital of the United States: Cushing, OK.
This pipeline exacerbates any real chance of containing emissions in North America– it facilitates the two major problem areas that need to be reversed, quickly. It is not on the major struggle list, and is fought tooth and nail by locals proponents, but is left off the larger Green radar. This reasons this exists as a problem has been detailed before– but what to do about it?
There was another example of the deliberate trap set by the Obama Hopey Changey administration two days ago. Barack himself spoke, again, on why dealing with Keystone is not happening until later, so go ahead and chase this one pipeline more. At a meeting with governors at the White House, the POTUS vagely referred to a decision in the next months.
A few days before, meeting with Prime Minister Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Obama pointedly refused to answer questions about a KXL decision as well.
The first time the decision was deferred, not stopped, that itself was seen as a victory– it certainly was a response to the pressure being meted out by well coordinated media relations, involving the voluntary civil disobedience of hundreds of people. The expression of people power is to be celebrated; the trap of never finalizing a decision on the pipeline is to be resisted. That trap has been embraced.
Fracking itself has transformed US oil production, and threatens to spread across Turtle Island ever further. Without resistance to fracking, oil shale and MTR alongside tar sands at this point, all is seemingly lost as far as climate. Such a task for total resistance is certainly daunting; Nothing is as daunting as the urgent human need for climate solidarity and struggle.