Brewing Clash Over Keystone XL Pipeline Between Environmentalist Grassroots and Obama Organization

The Keystone XL Pipeline project, strongly opposed by environmentalists, has brought friction between the “green” grassroots and President Obama’s campaign organization, Ryan Grim and Lucia Graves report at Huffington Post:

Top officials from President Barack Obama’s campaign arm, which was recently rechristened as Organizing for Action, are working to dampen the passionate grassroots opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline . . .
OFA will not pressure the White House on Keystone regardless of its members’ interest in the issue. The administration recently pushed back a decision on approving the pipeline to November, December or even 2014. . . .
The reticence worries those who hoped that the Obama campaign’s legacy would be a strong, independent grassroots movement that could bring outside pressure on Washington, rather than continuing to act as an arm of the president. Instead of a new organization that will push the White House from a progressive flank, on Keystone, OFA is in effect pushing grassroots activists in the opposite direction.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed 1,179-mile pipeline from the Canadian province of Alberta — where drilling in so-called “tar sands” have developed new crude oil reserves — to Steele City, Nebraska. Supporters call it “a critical infrastructure project for the energy security” that will “support the significant growth of crude oil production in the United States” and create economic growth.

Radical green groups including Friends of the Earth oppose the project, calling it an “environmental crime in progress” and saying it “could devastate ecosystems and pollute water sources, and would jeopardize public health.”

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