35 or 40 thousand people participated in a march on the National Mall to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and encourage President Obama to move forward on climate change today. That's a pretty good turnout, right?
Although proponents of the pipeline speak to the prospect of jobs and cheap energy, the pipeline really stands as a symbol of the wrong kind of thinking about how we're deriving energy. A long-term investment of time and money into fossil fuel infrastructure when it has become abundantly clear that those fuels are a major contributor to global warming simply makes no sense. The extraction process of oil from tar sands is particularly dirty and wasteful, the project itself is pretty much guaranteed to result in spills, the jobs created won't be long-term, and let's face it--we've got to get ourselves off of oil--period.
Saying yes to this pipeline would mean saying "yes" to possibly decades of continued oil dependency. It just isn't sensible, and it is time we looked for other ways to create jobs and energy without also creating possible environmental diasters.