Tens of thousands of Americans and citizens around the world have rightfully spoken out about the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a roughly 2,000 mile long development that would carve up six states and enrich the 1% even more.
Few personify the wealthiest 1% more than Charles and David Koch, who’re among the largest financial beneficiaries of dirty tar sands oil. The Keystone XL pipeline would hurt America and make the Koch brothers richer. In other words, it would give the Koch brothers more billions of dollars to buy American democracy and bend it to their whims.
This doesn’t have to be the case. The State Department and White House can veto the pipeline’s permits because it crosses an international border with Canada.
The pressure’s on. The State Department was rightfully exposed for shoddy oversight. Leaders in Congress continue fighting to further investigate the Koch brothers’ involvement, and just recently, President Obama said he would personally approve or deny the Keystone XL pipeline.
It’s the biggest environmental issue from now until next year. Will President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose American safety or will they hand the Koch brothers billions more in profit that they’ll politically use against them?
The world’s top scientists agree that the tar sands is virtually game-over for the climate. More than that, why would this administration lend a lifeline to its wealthiest adversaries?
President Obama can deny the permit, right now, and shut down this flow of cash to the Kochs. In doing so, he’ll show that our national interest isn’t always determined by the 1%, in this case a few big oil companies and the Koch Brothers, but by the 99% of us who have to pay the price for their greed.
Let’ s not forget that the pipeline would raise the price of gasoline in the Midwest and jeopardize one of our nation’s most strategic and vital aquifers.
The Keystone XL oil pipeline is emblematic of a lot that we’ve learned about the Koch brothers since our Koch Brothers Exposed campaign began earlier this year. Whenever possible, the brothers try operating in the shadows and attacking the truth so they can get richer in secret.
We must continue holding them accountable. And we must pressure our leaders to make sure they don’t enrich two of the biggest threats to American democracy.