Tim McDonnell

Tim McDonnell

Climate Desk Associate Producer

Tim McDonnell joined Climate Desk after stints at Mother Jones and Sierra magazine. He remains a cheerful guy despite covering climate change all the time. Originally from Tucson, Tim loves tortillas and epic walks.

Get my RSS |

Republicans Are Very Mad About Obama's Keystone XL Decision

| Fri Nov. 6, 2015 2:12 PM EST

Friday morning, after years of heated battles between environmentalists and Republicans, President Barack Obama announced that he is rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.

In a speech, the president criticized both supporters and detractors of the pipeline from placing too much emphasis on a project that, according to the State Department's analysis, would neither create many jobs nor ruin the climate if approved. Still, reactions to his decision from Republicans in Congress and the 2016 presidential primary were swift and terrible.

On the other side of the aisle, Democratic candidates were quick to praise the decision:

Notably absent, so far, is a reaction from Hillary Clinton. She only recently took a public position against the pipeline, after years of dodging the question.

UPDATE 3:30pm ET: A couple latecomers:

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Here's What You Need to Know About President Obama's Decision to Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

| Fri Nov. 6, 2015 11:06 AM EST

In the year’s biggest victory for environmentalists, President Barack Obama announced Friday that he will reject an application from Canadian company TransCanada to construct the Keystone XL pipeline.

The pipeline, which would allow crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to reach ports and refineries in the US, has been a major controversy for Obama ever since he took office. The White House spent years deliberating on the issue. During that time, environmental groups accused Obama of not backing up his rhetoric on climate change with real action, and Republicans in Congress accused him of blocking a job-creating infrastructure project.

In his announcement today, the president said the State Department’s analysis had shown the pipeline would not significantly benefit the US economy.

"The State Department has decided that the Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the national interests of the United States. I agree with that decision," Obama said.

The timing of the announcement is significant, as it comes just weeks before the beginning of major international climate negotiations in Paris. Obama’s decision will "reverberate" with other countries and sends a strong message that the United States is serious about taking action to stop climate change, said Jennifer Morgan, director of the global climate program at the World Resources Institute.

Obama said that pipeline had been given an "overinflated role in the political discourse" by both its supporters and detractors. Still, he framed his decision as a key element of his climate legacy.

"America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change," he said. "Today we continue to lead by example."

Watch the full speech below:

This post has been updated.

Republicans Are Going To Hate This Chart

| Wed Nov. 4, 2015 11:38 AM EST
Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

Two weeks ago, President Barack Obama's signature climate action plan was formally published. The new regulations will require many states to reduce their use of coal, the dirtiest form of energy, in an effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by about a third by 2030. Almost immediately, the plan came under a barrage of legal attacks from two dozen coal-dependent states, almost all led by Republican governors and attorneys general. Meanwhile, Republican members of Congress introduced legislation to overturn the plan.

On Tuesday, after the House of Representatives resolution was approved in committee, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) claimed a victory for all Americans. The vote, he said, shows that "the American people are not happy with President Obama's climate change policy."

Except that, they kind of are happy about it. That's according to new polling by Yale University's Project on Climate Change Communication, which found that 61 percent of residents in the states suing the Obama administration support tight limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants. Individual state results are listed in the table above. Even in Kentucky, home to the plan's biggest opponent, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), most residents support the plan.

Makes you wonder whose interests all these governors, attorneys general, and legislators are really representing.

Fri Sep. 27, 2013 2:00 PM EDT
Fri Aug. 9, 2013 5:00 AM EDT
Tue Aug. 6, 2013 2:49 PM EDT
Mon Jul. 1, 2013 12:38 PM EDT
Tue Jun. 25, 2013 10:56 AM EDT
Fri Jun. 21, 2013 12:13 PM EDT
Thu May. 16, 2013 5:00 AM EDT
Fri May. 10, 2013 5:01 PM EDT
Wed May. 1, 2013 12:39 PM EDT
Mon Apr. 29, 2013 2:34 PM EDT
Sat Apr. 27, 2013 5:00 AM EDT
Mon Apr. 22, 2013 5:08 PM EDT
Wed Apr. 3, 2013 5:00 AM EDT
Mon Apr. 1, 2013 5:00 AM EDT
Mon Mar. 11, 2013 3:52 PM EDT
Wed Mar. 6, 2013 2:56 PM EST
Tue Mar. 5, 2013 3:04 PM EST
Fri Mar. 1, 2013 6:06 AM EST
Fri Feb. 8, 2013 11:18 AM EST
Thu Feb. 7, 2013 6:06 AM EST
Wed Feb. 6, 2013 6:06 AM EST
Thu Jan. 31, 2013 3:22 PM EST
Tue Jan. 29, 2013 5:34 PM EST