House Speaker John Boehner conceded to the inevitable and agreed to approve the Senate compromise that extends the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance two months.
That bill also includes, at the GOP’s insistence, a requirement that Obama make a decision within 60 days on the tar sands pipeline, which is likely fatal to Keystone XL (see “GOP Threaten to Harm the Economy If Obama Won’t Embrace Tar Sands Pipeline“).
Jeremy Symons of National Wildlife Federation has the latest, including quotes from Bill McKibben of 350.org, Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska:
So what does this mean for the pipeline? Speaker Boehner is trying to satisfy Big Oil’s lobbyists and some of the GOP’s top corporate donors by forcing the president to make a hasty decision, but it will backfire. I am confident that President Obama will stand up to big oil and reject this dangerous and unnecessary pipeline because it is the right thing to do, and that the American public will support him. Americans understand that it is wrong to play political games and strip families of our right to protect our land and our clean water from foreign oil companies, because you can’t drink oil.
I asked Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska and Bill McKibben of 350.org, two of the leading fighters to stop this pipeline, for their reaction today as well. Here is what they wrote me:
Bill McKibben: ”The administration’s promise to deny this permit, if fulfilled, will be one of the rare pieces of good news for the climate in a year which saw America shatter all records for billion-dollar weather disasters. The president campaigned hard in 2008 on trying to slow the climate crisis, and this would be a strong sign he meant what he said.”
Jane Kleeb: “The pipeline is unnecessary and a scam that would export the oil while burdening our families with all the risks.”