A victory - and a step in the right direction

Authors: Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

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The Keystone pipeline – a project that would have shunted toxic tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast – has been deferred.

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From the Flickr account of Lauri Gorham.

It’s breathtaking. Stunning. It’s absolutely the right thing to do, of course, to further assess the potential damage the pipeline could do - to the land it runs across if the oil were to spill; to the planet, once its burned. But somehow I don’t think we expected this to happen.

It was your leadership that got this done. It was the leadership of the thousands who protested last weekend in Washington, of the hundreds who went to jail to draw attention to the cause. It was the leadership of young people and indigenous people and retirees and communities of color. It was the leadership of our allies at 350.org.

But it was also the leadership of President Barack Obama. Make no mistake: without his intervention, this outcome may not have happened. We thank him for doing the right thing - and we remind him that the fight for a cleaner environment isn’t over.

Thank you for your engagement and your commitment. It’s been a generally bleak few months. So let’s take a moment today to celebrate a substantial victory.

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