Just a few minutes ago, President Obama put approval of Canada's tar sands pipeline on hold.
He sent the project back to the State Department for a thorough review of the pipeline's environmental costs, which most analysts say will effectively kill the project. The process will likely be finished in early 2013.
President Obama says, "Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.
The final decision should be guided by an open, transparent process that is informed by the best available science and the voices of the American people.
At the same time, my administration will build on the unprecedented progress we've made towards strengthening our nation's energy security, from responsibly expanding domestic oil and gas production to nearly doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, to continued progress in the development of a clean energy economy."
Since any scientific review would recommend against the pipeline when considering its affect on the environment, it couldn't possibly pass "real" environmental assessment.
Obama also made it clear that the environmental assessment must be conducted by an expert, independent organization, not lobbyists or cronies as was done in the last faulty review.
Although he didn't JUST SAY NO as we would hope, he was under unimaginable pressure from the oil giants, and this is a major victory for the many thousands of people who have brought this issue into the public spotlight. Just six months ago, barely anyone knew or cared about a pipeline coming from Canada.
A month ago, the GOP and the oil industry thought it would be easily approved this year, and TransCanada has already moved huge quantities of pipe to the US side and begun seizing and clearing land in preparation.
We give a HUGE THANK YOU to Bill McKibben and his team at 350.org for taking on this historic battle. We're sure they will sleep well tonight for the first time in so many months.
We heave such a sigh of relief and are so thankful that victories are still possible in this time when it's so hard for people to be heard by our government.
It's easy to believe that President Obama made this decision to keep environmental voters on his side for the 2012 election, after which he could approve it, but we thank him for taking this step toward doing the right thing for our climate.
You can thank President Obama here and let him know we're watching what happens: