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Making sense of the Keystone XL oil pipeline

A story that ran on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered yesterday discussed the history, political tension and symbolism surrounding the Keystone XL Pipeline. Near the end of the clip, NPR reporter Jeff Brady is asked by host Robert Seagull why the Keystone pipeline is significant. Brady says the pipeline has been made important by environmentalists who oppose it. Then, reporter Scott Horsley says, “Frankly, Robert, when you’re trying to tackle as something as big and amorphous as climate change, it’s easier to stop a pipeline than to get people to change their driving habits or get them to buy florescent lightbulbs or invest in green power and so, Keystone has become a larger than life political symbol REALLY out of proportion to its tangible impact on the climate.” I don’t want to quibble with Horsely’s analysis as a journalist, but as a human being, I for one, am grateful for the power of the symbol–which yes! Keystone stands for–it’s not a solution or remedy to climate change, but rather a symbol of democracy in action. WE THE PEOPLE making our voice heard!  Listen to the full story here.