Activism Works!

When he was elected, President Obama told us to push him. Well, it looks like we may have pushed hard enough when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline.

This week, the president vetoed a Congressional bill that would have completed the construction of that pipeline. The veto was only the third of President Obama's six-years in office, and it is being celebrated by environmental groups and activists.

However, those groups say that we must keep pushing to keep Keystone from becoming reality. May Boeve, the Executive Director of, said that the President's action is “conclusive proof that activism works.”

At a celebration outside of the White House she added, “After four years of rallies, marches, sit-ins, and civil disobedience, we're thrilled to see President Obama take an important first step by vetoing this love letter to Big Oil.” But, the President's veto only stops Congress from trying to go around the State Department, which still holds the power to issue a permit for the pipeline.

Annie Leonard of Greenpeace said, “The State Department needs to put the final nail in the coffin of Keystone XL, so we can focus on the real opportunity ahead: building America's new, clean energy economy.”

Tens of thousands of people – if not more – have been involved in the fight to stop the Keystone pipeline, and their protests, letters, actions, and even arrests likely pushed our president to issue this veto.

We acted together to take on Big Oil, and we have achieved another victory in the war to protect our planet. Now, let's keep up the fight, keep the pressure on, and keep Keystone from being built once and for all.


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 16 weeks ago

Sounds good to me! Those Canadians will just have to figure out another way to get their crap to its intended destination. Americans bothering to pay attention are tired of being the doormat of the developed world.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 9 years 16 weeks ago

If Canada wants to export that crap, let them build a pipeline across their own country.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 16 weeks ago

Kend ~ Are you out there? I don't want to gloat; but.......

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 9 years 16 weeks ago

I think it's fair to say that if the oil went to the US, reducing prices for the middle class, there would have been virtuallty no oppositiion to the pipeline.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 9 years 16 weeks ago

Now we need reed to pushk Obama into cancelling the Transpacific Trade Agreement and any other trade agreement that takes jobs away from the U.S. Two bad things Clinton did was thke dropo theBanking act of 1933 which stopped gambling with depositor's funds. The secton was the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada which took jobs away for thke U.S.. We should stop that one also.

Stella Jane's picture
Stella Jane 9 years 16 weeks ago

This is a good article about what to continue doing about Keystone.

However there are TWO OTHER PIPELINES coming down through the native rice fields and salmon spawning lands, and once again the NATIVE people are protecting their lands and activists must raise consciousness about this.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 16 weeks ago

Yes I am here Marc but I hate to ruin your little party but Obama didn't say no to Keystone he sent it back for more studies. There are several reasons for this. First is rejecting Keystone is just plain stupid.. The oil it would replace is getting to Texas via tanker through the Gulf which is far more dangerous than piping it. You should also know that delaying Keystone is a violation of NAFTA that's why Obama can't say no to it he can only delay it due to some made up concerns. Because there are no environmental concerns TransCanada has addressed them all. He would have to cancel the NAFTA agreement which we all probaly wouldn't mind. Well I guess it would hurt Mexico. The pipeline would also bring oil from the Dakota's to the US refineries which would replace oil from the Middle East but what do Democrats care about the mid west they vote the wrong way besides rather that create income from developing New business it is much easier to tax the middle class more. Most important for you to understand is because of the Keystone delay there is about 400,000 more barrels of oil per day being shipped rail. I am sure you would all agree that is much better than a pipeline what could go wrong there. You should also know who owns the rail company that ships all that oil is Warren Buffett I guess that would only seem a little fishy if Mr Buffett donated to Obama's campaign.

I personally wish Obama would flat out reject it then we could more on. America went to Europe and defeated the Germans faster then it took to make a decession on Keystone.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 16 weeks ago

"Activism works!" ..... but why not polls too? When clear vast majority sentiment on economic issues gets expressed in national polls, why are the Democrats so damn timid about fighting for these issues, stuff that almost everyone wants? Why Debbie Wasserman Schultz???????

The Teapublican Party is loud about not wanting this stuff, stuff that means economic prosperity for the vast majority. C'mon, it's a no-brainer platform. Polls show that the vast majority supports a single- payer system for health care, minimum wage hikes, lifting the cap on wages taxed for Social Security, The Employee Free Choice Act, raising the taxes on the very wealthy, etc.

Why the hell won't the Democrats just go on offense and keep repeating they want to do all of these things but the Teapublicans, representing only billionaires, keep blocking them.....just keep repeating it to the voting public...over and over and over and really is that simple. Tell the voters they can have these things if they pay attention to who is for and who is against the will of the vast majority.

Keep the communication direct and simple.....nobody has time or attention span for wordy and complicated explanations. The Teapublicans sure realize this little fact to be true, and look how well it works for them. Words like, government takeover, Benghazi, entitlement programs, communists, shrink big government, Obamacare, etc., All simple distractions from the truth, it doesn't take much!

RFord's picture
RFord 9 years 16 weeks ago

I'm sure activism had a key role in the XL pipeline veto. Many members of my union, The UA, could have been employed as welders on the pipeline. Because people need jobs is not a good reason to do something stupid, like build a pipeline that adds to global warming and the eventual destruction of life on earth. We should always look at the big picture.

As others have said, we need to keep up the activism, and tell the President and congress that we don't want any trade agreements unless the main beneficiaries are the American workers who will get a lot of high paying jobs with great benefits. Otherwise we do not need any trade agreements.

Let's keep up the activism. Today, Keystone, tomorrow, SHAFTA, then whatever is next.

Ken Duerksen's picture
Ken Duerksen 9 years 16 weeks ago

Sadly, it is my understanding that Enbridge will simply transport the same tar sands oil through the Flannagan South pipeline, which was just built across Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois - connecting to Canadian systems through existing terminals.

Bill Smith 9 years 16 weeks ago

I am all for checks and balances, But when our government plays games (Obama's veto) with a major environmental issue like the KXL that only keeps Congress from going around the State Dept. tells me that they have another alternative? And the State Dept. needs to still vote against the KXL? Give me a break! All our government structure is now controlled by big money, including Obama.

Yes, we need to keep the grassroots movements moving, but I won't expect a presidential veto to have much of an effect.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 16 weeks ago

Kend -- You have some good lines you could use as a standup comedian.

Quote Kend:Because there are no environmental concerns TransCanada has addressed them all.


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 16 weeks ago

Bill Smith -- Obama and the State Department are the same thing.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall