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Company wants new pipeline, residents do not

A war saga has been unfolding in Washington.
A Canadian company wants a new pipeline to transport its tar sands oil to the Gulf of Mexico.
Landowners and farmers, ranchers and indigenous communities all along the Keystone XL route are up in arms about destructive impacts on health, on the land and water and air, on the forests and wildlife.
Climate scientists and millions of young people concerned about climate threats to their future, and environmentalists all across the land oppose it.
An expected permit from the U.S. State Department is postponed by the President as he takes note of the extent of opposition and as collusionary improprieties in the environmental-assessment process become known.
The oil industry has heaped big sums — nearly $12 million in direct contributions in the last two years — on members of Congress.
At year’s end, this body ties approval of tax relief for American families to an early and arbitrary 60-day deadline on the permit decision.
In January, the industry’s top American lobbyist issued threats to the President of “huge political consequences” should he not approve the permit. The President, thus faced with a demand to pre-approve, practically unseen, the safety of a new pipeline route whose course is as yet not known, denies it.
On Jan. 31, Amy Goodman stated on Democracy Now, “Senate Republicans have announced… legislation” allowing for direct Congressional approval of the pipeline, and that “the bill’s 44 co-sponsors have received a combined $22.3 million in campaign contributions” from the industry since 1989.
The words of an early American President, and of a young girl in France whose 600-year birthday also passed in January, come to mind as one follows this war story.
Not appreciably helping our own energy security, XL would provide a profitable conduit, primarily for oil exports by the company to Asian and European markets.
Its advertised “hundreds-of-thousands-of-jobs” prospect debunked by the Washington Post and other, independent analyses, would actually impede far higher jobs potential in the “green-energy,” efficiency and renewables sector, where it would again crowd out needed innovation and national investment.
The climate footprint of the product being thee times higher than that of conventional oil, a poor safety-culture and oil-spills record at currently existing lines — these and other reasons its opponents point to in rejecting the XL pipeline.
Thomas Jefferson gave a clairvoyant warning, in 1816, about “monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
A teenage farmgirl turned soldier, Joan of Arc, would lead the resistance against the English kings’ war in France and defend her country’s fields and farms from the ravages of the war.
A mercenary soldier-general, Montgomery, would hear this before being slain by her on the battlefield: “Who called you to this land to lay waste the flowering industry of its fields?”
Could there be oil-industry “mercenaries” in the congress willing to risk such sacrifice of our farms and fields?