Ten Thousand demonstrators surround White House to block the Keystone XL dirty oil pipeline
As many as ten thousand demonstrators gathered in Washington today, joining hands to encircle the White House in a human chain. They called on President Obama to live up to his campaign promises and NOT approve a pipeline to shunt some of the dirtiest oil in the world into America’s heartland.
For months, it had appeared that the Keystone XL pipeline was a done deal. But the pressure appears to be paying off, and just this week President Obama appeared to be backing off, saying he would do what’s best for the economy, but also what’s best for the health of the American people.
The pipeline is a $7 billion project that would carry oil derived from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada – some of the dirtiest oil there is – all the way across the heart of America down to gulf refineries in Texas. The threat has united an incredible range of opposition, from NASA scientist/climate activist James Hansen to the Republican-majority Nebraska State Legislature. (See: Why we should block the Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline – Sen. Bernie Sanders).
Dan Quigley, who had traveled all the way from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt. to join the protest, told USA today, “It’s putting a lot of time and effort into something that’s pulling us into a wrong direction. If we are going to do anything this large scale it has to be something that’s proactive for helping the environment.”
The State Department is supposed to give its final recommendation by December 31, and prior to this week it looked like Obama might try to hide behind that State Department process to let approval slide through. But this week he “took ownership” of the process.
“Only a day ago the President’s press secretary said the State Department would make the call,” noted Bill McKibben, climate activist and founder of 350.org. “Now, it’s very good to see the President taking full ownership of this decision and indicating that the environment will be the top priority going forward.”
Obama was playing golf for most of today’s demonstration.
What can you do?
- You can go to TarSandsAction.org to get plugged into the fight to stop the Keystone pipeline.
- Head over to OccupyTogether.org to find out more about joining the 99%.
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More on tar sands and the fight to prevent the Keystone XL pipeline:
- It’s not jobs vs environment – it’s clean jobs vs dirty jobs
- Tar sands battle plan, phase 2
- Which banks are the worst? Royal Bank of Canada funds tar sands
- Solidarity: Occupy Wall Street + the Climate Movement
- Tar sands oil pipeline could contaminate US heartland
- Bill McKibben faces jail to block Keystone tar sands…
- Keystone XL tar sands pipeline a small part of a bigger picture
- Why we should block the Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline – Sen. Bernie Sanders
(Photo via Jon Walker)