Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Local citizens to join National Day of Action against Keystone XL tar sands pipeline with Sept. 21 protest in Marquette

More than 40,000 people march on Feb. 17, 2013, in Washington D.C. during "Forward on Climate," the largest climate protest in history. On Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, the protest will be nationwide -- a National Day of Action to demand that President Obama  deny the permit for Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. (File photos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)*

MARQUETTE -- Upper Peninsula residents will have an opportunity to participate in the Sept. 21, 2013, National Day of Action -- part of the national campaign to demand that President Obama deny the permit for Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Concerned citizens will gather at noon on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 307 S. Front Street, Marquette (in front of U.S. Congressman Dan Benishek's office), to "Draw the Line to Protect the Great Lakes" in opposition to the pipeline.

The National Call to Action, called "Draw the Line," features scores of creative events, with large rallies planned in areas already affected by climate change and places at risk from climate chaos if strong action, such as limiting tar sands development, is not taken. A full list of events and photos, as well as a short video about the movement against Keystone and the reason for the Call to Action, are available at http://350.org/DrawTheLine.

Bill McKibben, climate activist and founder of 350.org, addresses the crowd at the July 14, 2013, rally in Bridge View Park near St. Ignace, Mich., and the Mackinac Bridge. The rally was organized by the Traverse City chapter of 350.org to call attention to Enbridge's aging pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac.**

Heidi Gould, a Marquette city resident, states she was compelled to respond when she read in the Mining Journal, "[Congressman] Benishek said he doesn't see why the U.P. can't have the Keystone pipeline come down from Canada, which he says would provide many area jobs and might lower gas prices, as well."*** She was informed by another activist about the 350.org invitation to host a Day of Action to "Draw the Line" to show opposition to the proposed pipeline.

In his Aug. 19, 2013, presentation at a town hall meeting in Hancock, Michigan First District U.S. Congressman Dan Benishek speaks about the need for job creation. After his talk, Keweenaw Now attempted to ask him about his views on climate change (since he has been heard to deny it), but he said he didn't have time to answer since he had to leave immediately for another meeting in Negaunee. A few minutes later he was being interviewed by a T.V. reporter.***

"The timing was intriguing! Not only do we need to let the President know that we don’t want the pipeline but our congressional representative needs to understand the vitality of the Great Lakes and we need to do everything we can to protect them," Gould says.

While President Obama considers Keystone XL’s fate, opposition to the pipeline and the tar sands oil it would carry has continued to grow. Over 1,500 people have already been arrested to stop Keystone XL, and on February 17 over 40,000 people came to Washington to tell the President that Keystone XL is not in the national interest. Credo Mobile, Other 98 Percent and Rainforest Action Network have collected pledges from over 75,000 people who are willing to risk arrest to stop the pipeline. A diverse coalition of environmentalists, inner-city residents living near refineries, and rural landowners have come together to oppose the pipeline’s southern leg in Texas as well.

During the Nov. 6, 2011, protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline in Washington, D. C., protesters march with a long mock pipeline around the White House, chanting "Soil not oil" and "Yes, we will -- stop the Pipeline." (Video by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)****

Pipeline opponents were heartened by President Obama’s comments about Keystone XL at his June 25 Georgetown climate speech, when he said he would oppose the pipeline if it would "significantly" increase greenhouse gas emission.

Independent analysts, environmentalists, and the tar sands industry all agree that Keystone XL will increase emissions. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has estimated increasing production from their 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2012 to 6.7 million bpd by 2030.*****

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), over the project’s 50-year timeline, Keystone XL would add between 935 million and 1.2 billion metric tons of carbon pollution to our atmosphere, significantly increasing carbon pollution. ******

For more information about the Sept. 21 protest in Marquette email Heidi Gould at heidigould2003@yahoo.com or call (906)226-0102.


* Click here to read the Feb. 25, 2013, article, "Keystone Pipeline protest: over 40,000 people in freezing cold," by Shirley Galbraith, with photos by Allan Baker. Click here for the videos.

** See our July 22, 2013, article, "Videos, photos: 'Oil and Water Don't Mix' rally draws hundreds concerned about Great Lakes .

*** See the Aug. 20, 2013, Mining Journal article, "Benishek town hall focuses on jobs, health insurance," about his town hall meeting in Negaunee on Aug. 19, which followed the meeting in Hancock. To both audiences he expressed his opposition to federal government regulation and especially the EPA.

**** See our Nov. 11, 2011, article, "Houghton couple report on DC protest against Keystone XL Pipeline, Tar Sands oil."

***** See Reuters: "UPDATE 2-Canadian oil output to more than double by 2030 -study."

****** See NRDC's July 2013 "White Paper: Climate Impacts from the Proposed Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline."

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