Skip to main content

The line in the sand.  
The Keystone Principle by K.C. Golden at GRIP
After a year of unprecedented destruction due to weather extremes, the climate fight is no longer just about impacts in the future.  It’s about physical and moral consequences, now.  And Keystone isn’t simply a pipeline in the sand for the swelling national climate movement.  It’s a moral referendum on our willingness to do the simplest thing we must do to avert catastrophic climate disruption:  Stop making it worse.

Specifically and categorically, we must cease making large, long-term capital investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure that “locks in” dangerous emission levels for many decades.   Keystone is both a conspicuous example of that kind of investment and a powerful symbol for the whole damned category.

It is important to have principles.   Let's just make sure what the dictionary says about principles so we know what we're talking about
1.  an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct: a person of good moral principles.
2.  a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived: the principles of modern physics.
3.  a fundamental doctrine or tenet; a distinctive ruling opinion: the principles of the Stoics.
4.  principles, a personal or specific basis of conduct or management: to adhere to one's principles; a kindergarten run on modern principles.
5.  guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct: a person of principle.  
I like to think of myself as a principled man.  

The Keystone Principle was a good start in honing in on the significance of the Keystone KXL pipeline.  But for me the principle must be broadened to reflect a number of principles to be lobbied for from this moment forward to avert the worst effects of climate change.  

President Obama repeatedly talks about an "all of the above" approach to our energy future.  I really wish he meant what he said.  If it was truly an "all of the above" approach we would not be digging from below.  We would instead be focusing our efforts on generating energy from above ground sources and leaving the below ground sources of energy where they are.  

We would be dramatically expanding solar.  Look up above.  What do you see?  The sun.  The largest and primal source of all energy we use here on Earth.  We see it every day but for some reason we refuse to fully tap its potential to provide this planet with the clean energy it is thirsting for.

Look at the surface of our planet.  Three fourths of its surface is covered by water.  That water has waves constantly pulsating around the globe.  Hydro energy that constantly beats its rhythm in varying degrees of intensity on the shores of all of our continents.  Yet we refuse to devote the research and dollars necessary to enable us to capture it.

Lick your finger and stick it up in the air.  Do you feel it?  Wind.  It constantly blows in varying degrees of intensity around the entire globe yet we refuse to tap its full potential.  

President Obama, you are not telling the American public the full story.  You do not have an "all of the above" energy policy. I wish you did because if it was a source of energy that truly came from above it would be a renewable source.  You have an "all of the above and all of the below" energy policy.  You encourage increased drilling for oil.  It's all down hence the need to drill for it.    You encourage the expansion of hydraulic fracturing.  It's again something you have to drill down for.  You also, apparently support the expansion of nuclear.  Well the last time I checked the source of nuclear power is uranium and I do believe that has to be mined.  That too is a source below.  

President Obama, those of us that truly want an "all of the above" energy policy have decided to take a stand.  It is true that if you decide to not approve the Keystone KXL pipeline climate change will not be solved.  As your State Department said in its environmental impact statement the Keystone XL would have only a small impact on overall green house-gas emissions.    Of course that EIS must be taken with a grain of salt because of the "oil connected" people who wrote the report.  

But people put money where their mouth is.  So first and foremost we must tell you that we don't want to put our money in more "down under" fossil foolish investment.  It makes no sense.  

Again from Grip:

Stopping Keystone nails the core principle for climate responsibility, by preventing investments that make climate disruption irrevocably worse.  Again, it’s not just that burning tar sands oil produces a lot of emissions; it’s that long-term capital investments like Keystone (and coal plants, and coal export facilities) “lock in” those dangerous emissions for decades and make catastrophic climate disruption inevitable.
 
So, Mr. President, it is not just a Keystone Principle.  For me, Keystone represents a whole host of principles that must be adopted to set this country on a sane and truly "all of the above" energy path.  Let me give you a partial list of just 10.  

1.  No further expansion or investment in "down below" fossil fuel energy infrastructure.  

2.  An immediate implementation of a carbon tax.

3.  An immediate cessation of oil industry subsidies.

4.  An immediate cessation of nuclear industry subsidies.

5.  Increased investment in energy efficiency efforts such as weatherization.

6.  Increased investment in smart grid development.

7.  Increased investment in mass transit infrastructure.

8.  Increased investment for non-polluting renewable energy research and development.

9.  A plan be adopted to bring U.S. carbon emissions below 350ppm in 10 years.

10.  A federal policy to completely divest federal funds from fossil fuel industries.

There are others I could list like no coal export terminals being built or an incentive program for people to switch from gasoline vehicles, but for now I'll just press for these ten.  

So regardless of what your decision on the Keystone XL pipeline project turns out to be,  I will still lobby and push for my Keystone principles until we truly are on an "all of the above" energy path.  Please pass this list on to all your golf buddies the next time you see them.  And please tell them that Keystone isn't just about a pipe in the ground to take tar sands oil from Alberta to Texas.  I oppose it on principle(s).  

Protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipelines in front of The White House in Washington, DC.
And it isn't just me that has principles.
And I have a line in the sand!
The line in the sand - NO KXL!


#NOKXL Blogathon: April 12 - April 22, 2013



860,000 Comments Submitted!

As of today, around 860,000 comments have been submitted so far and forwarded by our coalition partners to the United States Department of State.  Please help us reach and, even, exceed our goal of one million comments opposing this pipeline.  

The deadline for submission of public comments is April 22, 2013.

You Can Make a Difference

On March 1, 2013, the United States State Department released a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Presidential Permit application for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.  The SEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts. The purpose of this campaign is to obtain one million public comments in opposition to building this environmentally-destructive pipeline.  We hope that this blogathon will make submission of public comments easier.

This effort is being coordinated with Bill McKibben of 350.org and in coalition with the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, and Bold Nebraska.  


A victim of the recent tar sands oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, this bird says it all.  
Photograph being used with permission from Fast For The Earth.

We have an exciting line up of prominent lawmakers, environmental activists, and Daily Kos diarists.  Each one of them will be posting a diary in opposition to the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline. Some guests will be including a brief "sample comment" that readers can copy and submit at the State Department website.  The diaries and "sample comments" can be used as your comments! Readers who have specialized knowledge and skills relating to the pipeline, tar sands, climate change, or the petroleum industry may, of course, choose to create their own comments with additional details.  

Comments written by you are reviewed by our government with no media filter.  Three of our coalition partners will keep track of the number of comments submitted to the U.S. Department of State.

Please submit your comments through one of the below links:

  • "A Million Comments Against Keystone XL" - 350.org will deliver your comments directly to the State Department and has a system set up so that you can customize your comment.
  • "Tell President Obama: Reject Keystone XL!" - Sierra Club has a sample public comment that allows you to personalize your message.
  • "Tell the State Department: #NoKXL" - Oil Change International has a very helpful template to formulate your comments.
Let your voice be heard.  Our Daily Kos community organizers are Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, boatsie, rb137, JekyllnHyde, Onomastic, citisven, peregrine kate, DWG, and John Crapper, with Meteor Blades as the group's adviser.

Diary Schedule - All Times Pacific

More helpful details are in this diary - DK Blogathon Hosts Eco Coalition in #NOKXL Public Comment Campaign by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse.  Use hashtag #NOKXL to tweet all diaries posted during this blogathon.

  • Friday, April 12

1:00 pm: #NOKXL Blogathon: Your voice on the Keystone XL pipeline matters by DWG.

  • Saturday, April 13

11:00 am: Keystone XL: a pipeline THROUGH the US, not to it by dturnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International.
1:00 pm: #NOKXL: Dilbit in the Pipeline by Agathena.

  • Sunday, April 14

11:00 am: Keystone XL: Wildlife in the Crosshairs by Target Global Warming, Peter LaFontaine is the Energy Policy Advocate for the National Wildlife Federation.
1:00 pm: #NoKXL: The Future Is In Our Hands; Say No To The XL Pipeline Disaster by beach babe in fl.
3:00 pm: #NoKXL: Guess What's NOT in POTUS' Budget! (Rhymes with Shnipeline) by ericlewis0.

  • Monday, April 15

Note: All diaries for this day were rescheduled due to the Boston Marathon bombings.

  • Tuesday, April 16

8:00 am: KXL will carry as much carbon as all the cars on the West Coast, plus Michigan, NY, and Florida. by Bill McKibben, Founder of 350.org.
12:00 pm: #NoKXL: InsideClimate News Wins Pulitzer for Coverage of Kalamazoo River Dilbit Spill in 2010 by peregrine kate.
2:00 pm: Reject Keystone XL; Our Focus Should Be on Investing in a Sustainable Energy Future by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA13), Member of the United States House of Representatives.
2:00 pm: #NoKXL: (un)Ethical Pipeline? by A Siegel.
3:00 pm: #NoKXL — The Pipeline To Oblivion: Memes From The Climate Letter Project by WarrenS.

  • Wednesday, April 17

11:00 am: My government doesn't believe in climate change by Tzeporah Berman, Canadian Environmentalist and Co-Founder of Forest Ethics.
3:00 pm: #NoKXL ?? The Keystone XL Pipeline, Deep Time, and the Nature of Humanity by gregladen.

  • Thursday, April 18

10:00 am: Keystone East: Doubling down? Or admitting KXL defeat? by Roger Fox.
2:00 pm: Watch it Now! Fantastic Live Hearing Opposing Keystone XL Pipeline from Nebraska by JekyllnHyde.
3:00 pm: #NOKXL: The Ill-Logic of Keystone XL by Kelly Rigg, Executive Director of the Global Call for Climate Action.

  • Friday, April 19

2:00 pm: #NOKXL - A Dispatch From The Committee To End The Future by joe shikspack.
3:00 pm: Collision With Reality by James Wells.

  • Saturday, April 20

11:00 am: Jane Kleeb, Executive Director of Bold Nebraska.
12:00 pm: Lefty Coaster.
1:00 pm: John Crapper.
3:00 pm: boatsie.


Please remember to republish these diaries to your Daily Kos Groups.  You can also follow all postings by clicking this link for the Climate Change SOS Blogathon Group. Then, click 'Follow' and that will make all postings show up in 'My Stream' of your Daily Kos page.

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 01:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by Holy $h*tters, Climate Hawks, DK GreenRoots, Meatless Advocates Meetup, and Positive Intention and Lovingkindness.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site