Now, as the President gives his final State of the Union and prepares for his last year in office, the question remains: which path will he take? Will he continue to act in the way he did on Keystone XL, standing up to Big Oil and turning down projects that endanger the climate and our communities? Or will the President backslide to the Obama we saw in Cushing and continue to promote fossil fuel development, leaving a legacy full of contradictions and half-measures?
Tar-sands supporters in Congress will find it hard to tune out the fossil-fuel interests that want to see Canada's oil sands mined to the utmost. After all, the biggest foreign lease holder in Canada's oil sands is none other than the Koch brothers. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now it's up to President Obama to do the right thing.
As the Senate wrestles with the Republicans' Keystone XL pipeline legislation, Rubio will be skipping town to bolster his presidential bid. This legislation has implications for fossil-fuel dependence and climate change. And one of its amendments may address offshore drilling in the senator's own state of Florida. But Rubio has a book to sell and a campaign to fund.
ERM Group, the consultancy selected by TransCanada to conduct the environmental review for Keystone XL's northern leg on behalf of the U.S. State Department, once bribed a Chinese official to ram through major pieces of an industrial development project. ERM was tasked to push through the project in Hangzhou Bay, located near Shanghai.