Sierra Club Canada Foundation applauds Obama's rejection of Keystone XL Pipeline

Media Release / November 06 2015

OTTAWA — "President Barack Obama’s historic decision to reject TransCanada Corporation’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline brings North America one step closer to a low-carbon economy, while pointing to the power of citizen action in delivering the right political response to climate change", said Diane Beckett, Interim Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation.

“This is the first time any political leader has denied approval for a major piece of energy infrastructure because of its climate impact,” Beckett said. “In his statement today, President Obama pointed to the rapid growth and falling cost of renewable energy in the United States, and to the jobs that will be created as his country adopts clean energy. As the Trudeau government takes office, this decision points to the opportunity for Canada to build a 21st century economy based on today’s green, clean energy technologies, rather than continuing to rely on yesterday’s dinosaur fossil fuel industry.”

“What an amazing week this has been for Canada!” Beckett said. “First, we saw the appointment of the country’s first Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Now, we’re witnessing the end of a political irritant that has negatively impacted the country’s relationship with its biggest trading partner for the last seven years. There is so much more that Canada and the United States could be doing together to build a clean energy economy that spans North America. Now that conversation can begin."

“President Obama’s announcement adds crucial momentum in the lead-up to the United Nations climate summit in Paris. With only 24 days to go before the summit begins, Canada will have an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment on the single most important issue for our economy, our environment, and our children’s future. Canada's presence in Paris must give added meaning to Prime Minister Trudeau’s first statement to our international friends and allies: ‘On behalf of 35 million Canadians, we’re back.”

“This decision would have gone very differently if not for the many thousands of Canadians and Americans who contributed millions of hours to the grassroot campaign against Keystone XL. When that campaign began, the pundits said the pipeline was a done deal. The pundits were wrong, and some day, our children and grandchildren will mark today as one of the moments when humanity began to heal the earth."