If Keystone XL were only a solar company …

• September 28, 2011

Photo Credit: tarsandsaction/flickr

Life is filled with what ifs … What if I won the lottery? What if I fell off the bicycle? What if…In contemplating what has been going on with Solyndra, today’s news (for those who hear it) seems to raise one of those ‘what if’ moments:

What if the Keystone XL pipeline project to move tar sands liquids to Gulf Coast refineries were about solar power and a better future rather than an effort to nail the coffin on our chances to head off climate chaos?

If so, we would have to imagine the Congress in an uproar, with hearing after hearing investigating its environmental impacts, questioning of the firm’s exaggerated (fantasy?) numbers of potential employees, and elected officials streaming in front of the cameras to express their outrage at the very undemocratic (let’s buy politics) nature of “public hearings” and the potential illegal actions surrounding Keystone XL lobbying of the Obama Administration.

When it comes to disrupting real democracy, there are those things that leave a foul taste in the mouth.  For not just me, paying people to stuff public hearing rooms to drown out the voices of truly concerned citizens (who, by the way, might be on multiple sides of an issues) falls into that category.  This pipeline is, potentially, $billions of profits of implications … per year. Thus, it isn’t a stretch for the concerned businesses to spend $10,000s seeking to skew a public hearing process caused because of growing concern across the nation about this pipeline’s implications.  These State Department hearings are, however, not really giving “the” public a fair shake.

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TckTckTck is the online hub for the Global Call for Climate Action. The GCCA represents an unprecedented alliance of more than 400 nonprofit organizations from around the world. Our shared mission is to mobilize civil society and galvanize public support to ensure a safe climate future for people and nature, to promote the low-carbon transition of our economies, and to accelerate the adaptation efforts in communities already affected by climate change.

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