Reviewing the Keystone XL Pipeline: Part 2
This week is a crucial one for the widely debated tar sands Keystone XL pipeline, as Obama approved the project and allowed it to move forward. For environmentalists and supporters of Obama’s platform in 2008, this is a major step back and perhaps an indication that he is conceding to the Republicans’ agenda too easily. There have been protests and consequent arrests in Washington D.C. regarding the pipeline, but the issue has taken on so much political clout that it is no longer an issue of just climate change. Oil is such an important commodity to the United States and such a hot topic politically, it’s no wonder that Obama caved and allowed the pipeline to begin construction. However, this may cost him in the next presidential election, as he may lose the support of environmentalists (and other liberal followers) due to his apparent shift towards the Bush-administration views on environmental issues.
These two sources differ very much in their interpretations of the Keystone XL pipeline. The New York Times offers more of an expository look on the issue, presenting ideas from both liberals and conservatives. However, it is obviously liberally skewed, as the environmental issue takes center stage and the discussion mainly focuses on Obama’s political future with the environmentalists as well as how the green movement is reacting to this major setback. The Treehugger obviously provided an environmental slant on the issue by bringing in Ralph Nader to speak on the issue. The majority of the article is a summary of an interview (plus the original video) with Ralph Nader, where he expresses his opinion that this decision would bring in a “mature corporate dictatorship, with Washington as its servant” (Nader, 9/2/11). This extreme, negative view of Obama’s decision contrasts greatly with the relatively optimistic view that The New York Times relayed. This website was obviously designed for very hard-bent environmentalists (hence, “The Treehugger”) and therefore displayed only the worst case scenario and a very biased view of what is happening politically. Strangely enough, neither source covered the environmental impacts, as this is becoming more and more of a political issue.