In a big win for environmentalists and the planet, the administration of United States President Barack Obama announced on January 20 that it would deny a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada.
Anti-tar sands activists in the US and Canada have been seeking to stop the pipeline, planned to transport oil from the Athabasca tar sands in north-east Alberta to refineries in the United States. Mining the Athabasca tar sands is one of the most environmentally destructive practices on the planet.
The victory came in the context of a powerful and growing mass movement on both sides of the Canadian/US border. It also featured mass civil disobedience in Washington and elsewhere.
Writing on TarSandsAction.org on January 20, Bill McKibben hailed the victory, but warned the campaign was far from over: “Big Oil will do everything it can to overturn that decision.”
[See www.tarsandsaction.org for more information.]