President Obamaannounced on Friday that he had rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ending a seven-year review that had become a symbol of the debate over his climate policies.One of my favorite quotes from Obama's speech follows:
It has become a symbol too often used as a campaign cudgel by both parties rather than a serious policy matter,” he said. “And all of this obscured the fact that this pipeline would neither be a silver bullet for the economy, as was promised by some, nor the express lane to climate disaster proclaimed by others.The NYT story quotes Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, an environmental activist group which campaigned against the pipeline:
President Obama is the first world leader to reject a project because of its effect on the climate. That gives him new stature as an environmental leader, and it eloquently confirms the five years and millions of hours of work that people of every kind put into this fight.
What is striking to me is that neither of these stories makes any mention of the enormous grassroots effort against the pipeline, a grassroots effort by farmers and other landowners, primarily in Nebraska, where the pipeline would have threatened the Oglala Aquifer. I have covered that activism extensively on Legal Ruralism, including here, here and here. Further, the New York Times has covered that activism, including in a major story in the New York Times Magazine las year and also in the 2013 op-ed here.