19 Oct 2011

Say No To Tar Sands Nov. 6th in DC

Tuesday’s New York Times ran this powerful video op-ed produced by Robert Redford and criticizing the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed 2,000 mile-long conduit for toxic tar sands oil from Canada.

Click to watch video

For the State Department and President Obama to allow such a wrongheaded plan as the Keystone XL to move forward–guaranteeing the expansion of one of the dirtiest, most carbon intensive and destructive methods of fossil fuel extraction and putting our heartland at risk–would be a terrible, irreversible step backward in our push for a clean energy future.

We must make our voices heard above those of the well-greased oil lobby. Please join me, author Bill McKibben, and thousands of concerned Americans on November 6th, 2011, in Washington DC to turn up the pressure on the administration to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline and truly act in our national interest by pursuing a clean energy future for our children. The plan, which has never been done before, is to gather and peacefully encircle the White House to remind President Obama of his promise to “end the tyranny of oil” and accelerate the transition to clean energy.

Bring your families and friends as well. We need for the Administration to understand that real Americans, voting Americans, are paying attention to this.

And we are. You might be interested to know that hundreds of Americans from all walks of life–ex-military officers, ranchers, religious leaders, mayors, athletes and public health officials–attended a State Department hearing held in Washington on October 7th and expressed their concerns. As NRDC’s Rocky Kistner reports here, a number of appeals to reason were made:

  • Ret. Brigadier Gen. Steven Anderson told the panel: “This pipeline will keep us addicted to oil and it will get more of our guys killed. This is about CO2 emissions, clean water and American blood.”
  • Mike Klink, a safety inspector who worked on the pipeline, told the panel that there have been 14 leaks in portions of the pipeline built so far. “Given the integrity of this project, we can’t allow this. Please adopt real quality standards,” he testified.
  • Randy Thompson, a Nebraska rancher, complained that people in his state are not being listened to. “We feel like we’re being thrown under the bus for a project that in the private interests of the oil companies,” he said.
  • Deborah White Plume of the Lakota Nation said the pipeline would cross hundreds of rivers and put her community at risk. “Just say no to a pipeline that is against mother earth and sacred water.”

“It is not in our national interest to hasten climate change by encouraging production of the world’s dirtiest oil,” wrote NRDC executive director Peter Lehner in his Switchboard blog posted earlier this week. “Nor is it in our interest to help a Canadian company pipe its dirty oil 2,000 miles through America’s backyards and over the Ogalalla Aquifer, a critical source of water for millions of Americans”.

“From the Gulf of Mexico to the Yellowstone River, we’ve seen communities and ecosystems devastated by recent oil spills” he continues. “This past spring, two pipelines operated by TransCanada, the conglomerate behind Keystone XL, ruptured. In the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, all it would take is a leak the size of a pinhole—which TransCanda admits could go undetected for weeks—to ooze tens of thousands of gallons of low-grade crude into our drinking water.”

We can’t sit by and hope President Obama will do the right thing. The stakes are too high. Please come to Washington, DC on November 6th and show we care. If you are interested in getting more information and would like to participate, send us an email.