Already, 19 companies, including Walgreens, Whole Foods, and Columbia Sportswear have committed to take action on tar sands fuel for their vehicle fleet and shipping operations. Other companies interested in taking action on tar sands have expressed confusion over the chain of custody for petroleum.
On the day that President Obama finally rejects the Keystone XL pipeline, the connection between tar sands development and climate disruption should be only one of the reasons (although it's certainly reason enough). For someone like Obama, whose first real job was as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago, the effect of the pipeline and its toxic payload on the people and communities in its path will surely also be a factor.
Three days after spilling crude oil into Lake Michigan, BP has doubled its spill estimate to between 470 and 1228 gallons. The leak happened at its refinery in Whiting, Ind. Although some of the oil has been cleaned up, it's unclear how much is left in the lake, a drinking water source for about seven million Chicagoans.
After a protracted legal battle and a rash of angry demonstrations and civil disobedience actions along the pipeline route, the southern leg of the Keystone XL is complete, pumping hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude daily from Cushing, OK, to the Gulf -- straight through Julia Trigg Crawford family's farm.