My Keystone XL Twitterview

A journalism student in Montreal, Anouare Abdou, interviewed me recently on Twitter (a "Twitterview" - what a concept) about the Keystone XL project. The space limitations of Twitter were a surprisingly helpful way to clarify my thinking on the issue, although it took me a few Tweets to answer most of the questions. Here's the transcript (Anouare's classmates conducted other Twitterviews on topic too - read them here):

Anouare_AWhat is your opinion on the pipeline?
enviro_writer: Adamantly opposed to its construction. It's an affront to indigenous treaty rights, landowners and future generations.

Anouare_ACan you tell me more about how the construction of the pipeline violates indigenous treaty rights? 
enviro_writer: In AB, the Cree are suing the gov't for expanding #tarsands, violating 1870s treaty and ruining way of life ow.ly/6ZpE1; In the US, pipeline route to cross Oglala Sioux water supply held in trust by US for tribe ow.ly/6ZpND; Affecting Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in SD. Oglala Sioux are citing the Mni Wiconi Act. http://t.co/6UuR8crh

Anouare_A: Speaking about potential environmental risks & considering keystone I, which one are you mostly worried about?
enviro_writer: Where to start? Spills are inevitable yet we're willing to run it over one of the world's largest freshwater aquifers? More generally though, KXL is a logical place for us as a society to put our foot down to demand attention to #climate change.

Anouare_A: Are you taking any measures towards creating awareness about the issue?   
enviro_writer: Blogging, soc media, letters/calls to @statedept and @barackobama. Took part in @TarSandsAction at the @WhiteHouse on 8/23. Attended @ KXL hearing and rally on 10/7 and plan to be back at the @ on 11/6.
 
Anouare_A: Did you get any response from @statedept and @barackobama? Do you think all the mobilization can stop the project?
enviro_writer: Million dollar question! Many are pessimistic. I honestly don't know what Obama will decide - his enviro track record is mixed. Even if Obama approves permit, I think fight will continue. @foe_us is suing @StateDept and movement has momentum now. Movements have shuttered nuclear in Germany, dam in Burma and coal plants in US, so it's not beyond realm of possibility.

Anouare_A: You mentioned the #climate change issue. What do you think would be a better and cleaner alternative to oil for energy?
enviro_writer: Most oil is used for transport, so better fuel efficiency and bigger electric vehicle fleet would help. But the problem is also in our sprawling burbs which require frequent and long travel times. Smart growth will help too. Best solution IMO is not to rely on alternative fuel, but to negate the need for fuel in the first place with better planning.

Anouare_A: Are there any other controversial projects that get less press than #KXL and that you feel deserve more coverage?
enviro_writer: Enviros are great systems thinkers – seemingly separate projects are often connected or are symptoms of bigger issues. At @TarSandsAction mtntop removal and fracking activists got arrested b/c causes for #tarsands also behind other projects. But to answer more directly, mtntop removal in Appalachia has still, despite devastation it’s caused, not had much attention. I’d keep an eye on Venezuela’s own #tarsands, oil in the Bakken Formation and oil shale in US West too.