350.org and the National Wildlife Federation hope to get President Obama’s attention by parading a giant inflatable pipeline around the Capitol Today before his State of the Union address, to persuade Obama to reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil sands from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.
The 100-yard inflatable pipeline will have the message “Climate Champion or Pipeline President” scrolled across it.
— Kendall Mackey (@KendallMackey) January 28, 2014
“President Obama has all the information he needs to reject Keystone XL and he should do so in the State of the Union,” the groups said in a statement on Monday.
Environmental groups and the oil industry are awaiting an environmental review of the pipeline project from the State Department. That review should be completed by February, according to The Wall Street Journal.
After an interagency review, Obama would be able to make a final decision on the pipeline as early as May or June.
But green groups want him to reject the pipeline now, on the grounds that it would significantly add to carbon emissions and harm the environment.
“The mock pipeline out front is a reminder that there’s one environmental issue that’s brought people into the streets again and again across the country, and that’s the KXL pipeline,” said Bill McKibben, president and co-founder of 350.org said in a statement.
“Because we never forget for a minute that the president, all by himself and without asking [Speaker] John Boehner, can stop it once and for all,” he added.
— Erich Pica (@erichpica) January 28, 2014
But environmentalists aren’t the only ones calling on Obama to take a stand on the pipeline in Tuesday’s speech. All 45 Senate Republicans sent a letter to the president on Friday, demanding he make a decision quickly.
Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) told The Hill he would love for Obama to announce a decision in the State of the Union.
The GOP argues Obama is attempting to kill the project by “perpetually delaying” it. Republican’s see the pipeline as an answer to the increasing crude-by-rail accidents and a needed piece of infrastructure for the energy renaissance the U.S. is experiencing.
The likelihood of Obama mentioning the TransCanada pipeline in his speech are slim to none.
In recent talks with Canada’s foreign minister, Secretary of State John Kerry made it clear the administration would not be pinned down on a timeline for the project.
— Jane Fleming Kleeb (@janekleeb) January 28, 2014