After years of contentious debate, Keystone XL has been rejected once and for all. This is the behind-the-scenes story of how a small group of unlikely allies turned what everyone expected to be a routine governmental approval process into one of the most heated environmental battles in US history -- and prevailed.
This week, as the East Coast basked in balmy June temperatures, we saw both urgency and action on climate change. The urgency arrived on Thursday in the form of a major report compiled from 33 different research groups that found that "human-caused climate change" played a role in at least 14 extreme weather events last year. The action came a day later as President Obama, on the eve of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris, announced the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying the project would "undercut" America's "global leadership" on climate change. "If we want to prevent the worst effects of climate change before it's too late, the time to act is now," he said. "Not later. Not someday. Right here, right now." After all, as this week's report showed, the effects of climate change are also right here, right now.