Praising Activists’ Victory on Keystone Pipeline, Prez hopeful Stein (G) calls Obama delay a ploy and urges continued pressure

Photo of Jill Stein in 2010

Stein via Wikipedia

Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein congratulated climate change activists for forcing the Obama Administration to back away from quick approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Only six weeks ago it was clear that the Obama Administration was willing to open the door to a measure that spelled climate disaster.  What changed was not a sudden outbreak of environmental concern in the Administration, but a cold political calculation that approval could cost the President votes if taken before the 2012 presidential election.

Stein noted that

Thursday’s statement from the State Department makes it clear that the sticking point in their minds is the route of the pipeline. This fails utterly to address the critical issue – which is the amount of carbon that will be exhausted into the atmosphere from the Canadian tar sands.  No matter which route is taken, this pipeline is a disaster for the planet. No further study is needed to come to this conclusion.

Stein expressed the belief, shared by many climate activists, that Obama’s delay is basically a ploy to avoid inciting the outrage of climate activists before the election. “If there is anything we have learned, it is that President Obama is skilled at articulating environmental concerns and then betraying our hopes,” she said. As examples of tough talk followed by capitulation, Stein cited Obama’s permitting of mountaintop removal by coal companies in Appalachia and the resumption of offshore oil leases following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

As signs that the battle is not over, Stein noted statements from Keystone XL developer Transcanada saying that they remained confident that the pipeline will eventually be approved.  She also noted that another pipeline company is planning to import oil from tar sands using a pipeline that will not need State Department approval.

As part of her comprehensive plan to combat climate change, Stein has proposed a “Green New Deal” that would create millions of green jobs through investment in weatherization, renewable energy, clean manufacturing, sustainable agriculture, public transportation and reforestation.  The Green New Deal, according to Stein, would be paid for by redirecting trillions of dollars being squandered on wars for oil, Wall Street bailouts, and tax breaks for the wealthy. She says she will also end the Obama Administration’s subsidies for “clean coal” schemes.

“Climate change is a ticking time bomb.  But instead of taking decisive action to protect us against the danger, the Obama Administration is studying which route to take on the way to the destruction of our climate. The political pressure that stayed Obama’s hand this week is exactly what we need to stop all the climate-destroying schemes being supported by the Administration and instead put people to work building a carbon-free, secure, and sustainable energy future.”

Stein said she hoped her candidacy would provide extra leverage for climate activists seeking to halt destructive projects.  “President Obama’s campaign strategists now realize that environmental voters can’t be taken for granted because the Green Party is going to provide those voters with a truly green alternative. That creates a dynamic that makes environmental lobbying much more effective.”

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