Tuesday, March 19, 2013

350.org: Call Senators today to oppose Keystone Pipeline; videos of Feb. 17 Climate Rally in D.C.

From 350.org, with videos of the Feb. 17, 2013, Forward on Climate Rally in Washington, D.C. (Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

More than 40,000 participants in the Feb. 17, 2013, Forward on Climate Rally march to the White House to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline and call attention to climate change. (Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

OAKLAND, CALIF. -- Climate change activists around the country are rallying this week at Senate offices demanding that their senators vote against Keystone XL. This week the Senate is expected to vote on measures that would undermine President Obama’s authority to review the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

TODAY, Tuesday, March 19, is a national call-in day with groups like The Sierra Club, Moveon, Credo, NRDC, and others directing citizens to call their senators.*

Bill McKibben, 350.org founder, speaks to a crowd of more than 40,000 at the Feb. 17, 2013, Forward on Climate Rally in Washington, D.C. Supporters of the climate movement oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline that would carry oil from the Tar Sands in Alberta Canada through the U.S., endangering the environment. (Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Large rallies are happening now in Virginia, Colorado, and Minnesota, with activists saying that the export pipeline is not in the national interest and that their senators cannot be climate champions while supporting KXL. Virginia activists in particular are furious at Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), for voicing public support for the the project after voting against the pipeline last year.

During the Feb. 17 Forward on Climate Rally, just before the march from the National Mall to the White House, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO, introduces Van Jones, president of Rebuild the Dream. Jones addresses President Obama directly, asking him to deny permitting of the Keystone XL Pipeline (a vote on this is expected in the Senate this week).

"If you understand climate science,  there’s no way you can support this pipeline," said Jason Kowalski, policy director for 350.org. "We know that this pipeline is a boondoggle -- it will spill, most of the oil is for export, and it will make climate change worse. Anyone who tells you the opposite isn’t being straight with you or doesn’t know the facts."

Indeed studies show that Keystone will dramatically increase the development of the tar sands, known to be among the largest pools of carbon on the planet. A recent study from Pembina Institute showed that if approved, Keystone XL alone would require tar sands production to increase by 36 percent.

More than 1,500 people have been arrested protesting the pipeline, and in February over 40,000 people gathered on the National Mall to tell President Obama to reject it. In 2011, over 800,000 people called into the Senate to reject a similar measure.

First Nations representatives from communities affected by the Tar Sands oil development and Native Americans opposed to the Keystone Pipeline dance, sing and drum at the head of the Forward on Climate march to the White House on Feb. 17, 2013. At the head of the march are also Bill McKibben, 350.org founder, and Van Jones, president of Rebuild the Dream.**

Activists are also rallying outside almost all of President Obama and Secretary Kerry’s public events. Last week scores of climate activists greeted the president at events in Washington and outside Chicago.

Editor's Notes:

* You can call Sen. Carl Levin's Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-6221 and leave a message or speak with a representative about the Keystone XL Pipeline. Call Sen. Debbie Stabenow at (202) 224-4822.

** Click here to see a video (9 minutes) of speaker Crystal Lameman of Beaver Lake Cree First Nations in Canada to hear her report on the Tar Sands at the Forward on Climate Rally. The video also includes Native American leaders from Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Click here to see a video of Maria T. Cardona, Latinovations Founder and Dewey Square Group Principal, speaking on the effects of climate change on Latino populations.

Click here for Allan Baker's brief interview with Minnesota State Rep. Frank Hornstein, who was riding on the train to Washington for the Rally, with a group of concerned Minnesotans.

See also Keweenaw Now's Feb. 25, 2013, article, "Keystone Pipeline protest: over 40,000 people in freezing cold," by Shirley Galbraith, with photos by Allan Baker.


Joanne L. Thomas said...

I asked the senators to vote against any legislation that forces approval of the KXL.
Here is the ‘350.org’ sample call script:
“I am calling in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Americans have mobilized in historic numbers against it, and the Senator must stand with us, not big oil, and vote against any legislation that forces approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.”

Keweenaw Now said...

Thanks for your comment, Joanne. I think people can still call the Senators. They can also sign this letter to President Obama on 350.org:

Liberty Lady said...

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