FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Amy Myers, College Democrats of Massachusetts Environmental Caucus Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Massachusetts - College Democrats of Massachusetts, which is the official youth outreach wing of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and is affiliated with the College Democrats of America, released the following statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline:
This past Friday, seven years after TransCanada’s initial proposal, President Barack Obama definitely vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline after years of contentious debate from environmentalists, Native Americans, and the American public. After both the U.S. State Department and the Senate approved of the construction of the pipeline, major environmental groups, like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pressured the U.S. State Department to look into the impacts that the construction of this pipeline would have on local environments and global warming. Despite its passage in the Senate, and later the House of Representatives, President Obama vowed to, and ultimately did, veto the bill. However, this action is not what made Friday so instrumental in his assertion of national environmental policy.
On November 2, 2015, TransCanada asked the U.S. State Department to postpone its decision on issuing a cross-border permit due to a pending case in Nebraska. Many environmental groups speculate that this was an attempt to pursue the project after President Obama leaves office. In response, on November 6, President Obama quelled any hope of the pipeline’s passage with the following statement:
“America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change. And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that’s the biggest risk we face: not acting…As long as I’m president of the United States, America is going to hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold the rest of the world.”
President Obama’s opposition to this execrable project complements his strengthening position on the environment, as seen through his recent Clean Power Plan. While he deserves credit for bolstering his stance against fossil fuels, the real driving force behind the anti-Keystone XL Pipeline movement is environmental action groups. Due to their tedious work, and in some instances arrests, these activists have pushed environmental policy to the top of the Democratic Party’s platform. That being said, the College Democrats of Massachusetts’ Environmental Caucus applauds President Obama on his decision to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline and encourages similar decisions on upcoming environmental legislation.