Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 01/16/2012

Last November the Obama administration responded to intense public opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline—which would carry crude oil from Alberta's tar sands, to refineries on the Gulf Coast—by calling for additional environmental impact studies that could take more than a year to complete. This decision made many pipeline opponents hopeful, if not celebratory. But then six weeks later, as part of a deal to extend the payroll tax cut, congressional Republicans required that the administration make a decision on the project within 60 days.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Oil Change International founder Steve Kretzmann about the political maelstrom that is being stirred up by pipeline proponents. We discuss why many environmentalists are optimistic that by requiring a speedy decision, the Republicans' ultimatum actually forces the president to reject the pipeline project, despite this being an election year.

Steve Kretzmann has worked on energy issues and the global oil industry for more than twenty years. He has worked with communities and organizations around the world concerned with the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the oil industry. He has campaigned to keep Florida’s coast free from oil & gas drilling, keep bike lanes open in New York City, engage reluctant corporations in dialogue about human and environmental rights, expose the oil industry’s involvement in drafting Iraq’s new oil law and, end destructive public finance by institutions such as the World Bank. He has also represented various organizations in Washington DC and at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Montreal Protocol. Steve has authored numerous articles and reports and is a regular commentator on issues of corporate accountability, climate change, the global oil industry, and environmental and human rights. He founded Oil Change International in 2005 in order to educate about the true impacts of fossil fuels and to conduct research, education, and organizing to hasten the transition to clean energy.


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