Or rather, they’re doing something bolder and more courageous -- instead of trying to make a political point, they’re actually announcing plans to put their bodies on the line to stop the construction of a portion of the pipe.
I know what you’re thinking: We won at least a temporary victory, blocking approval of Keystone. That’s why Mitt Romney keeps talking about how his first task in office will be getting it going. Indeed, we did carry the day -- but only on the portion of the pipeline that crossed the border with Canada and connected to Alberta’s tar sands. The largest civil-disobedience action in the last 30 years -- 1,253 arrests over two weeks -- was enough to persuade the Obama administration to postpone approval of the border-crossing permit.
But unrelenting pressure from the oil industry was enough to persuade Obama to give the pipeline companies a few slices off the loaf. In fact, the president promised to “expedite” approvals for the southern portion of the pipeline, stretching from Cushing, Okla., to Port Arthur, Texas. It was a real low point for the Obama administration, a perfect emblem of its bankrupt “all of the above” energy “strategy.”
And now Transcanada is ready to begin construction -- and a brave crew of local residents is ready to try and stop them.