Arrests continue in White House tar sands protest

  • Published on August 24th, 2011

Bill McKibben arrested at the White HouseNearly 300 environmental activists have been arrested outside the White House, including author Bill McKibben, founder of 350.0rg. They are calling on President Obama to block an oil pipeline that would dramatically increase US carbon output from dirty Canadian tar sands oil.

McKibben, along with author Naomi Klein, actor Danny Glover and Nasa scientist James Hansen, has called for two weeks of action to block the KeystoneXL  pipeline, which they called “a fifteen hundred mile fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the continent, a way to make it easier and faster to trigger the final overheating of our planet”.

For background, see “Tar sands oil pipeline could contaminate US heartland“.

The largest environmental organizations in the country are stand together with the protestors.  Here’s the text of their letter of support:

Dear President Obama:

Many of the organizations we head do not engage in civil disobedience; some do.

Regardless, speaking as individuals, we want to let you know that there is not an inch of daylight between our policy position on the Keystone Pipeline and those of the very civil protesters being arrested daily outside the White House.

This is a terrible project–many of the country’s leading climate scientists have explained why in their letter last month to you. It risks many of our national treasures to leaks and spills. And it reduces incentives to make the transition to job-creating clean fuels.

You have a clear shot to deny the permit, without any interference from Congress. It’s perhaps the biggest climate test you face between now and the election.

If you block it, you will trigger a surge of enthusiasm from the green base that supported you so strongly in the last election. We expect nothing less.


Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense Fund
Michael Brune, Sierra Club
Frances Beinecke, Natural Resources Defense Council
Phil Radford, Greenpeace
Larry Schweiger, National Wildlife Federation
Erich Pica, Friends of the Earth
Rebecca Tarbotton, Rainforest Action Network
May Boeve,
Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters
Margie Alt, Environment America

What you can do: 

Please sign a petition requesting President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

Join the White House sit-in here

More on the Keystone XL action and the Tar Sands:


(Photo of Bill McKibben arrested at the White House by Shadia Fayne Wood for 350.0rg)


About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.