Environmental Protection

Keystone Activists Greet Obama in Dallas

Activists met President Obama yesterday as he arrived at a fundraiser in Dallas, to call on him to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

President Obama has set a climate test for the pipeline, saying that he would only approve it “if this project doesn’t significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” As the State Department nears completion of its environmental impact statement on the pipeline, the fight over the pipeline has intensified. State’s draft report erroneously concluded that the pipeline would have no impact on the climate, but independent analysis by the fossil fuel industry, climate scientists, and the EPA shows that the pipeline certainly fails the President’s test.

Activists from Texas Action Coalition for the Environment, 350.org, Sierra Club, Dallas Sierra Club, Tar Sands Blockade, CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, and Center for Biological Diversity, as well as other local groups, attended the event calling on President Obama to reject the pipeline.

David Griggs, of the Sierra Club, said, “Right here in Texas is where President Obama needs to back up his great words on cutting carbon pollution with great deeds. This dirty, dangerous tar sands pipeline won’t do a thing for American energy security, but it will saddle Americans with the risk of spills and force our farmers and ranchers to hand their land and the safety of their water to a Canadian company that selling the dirtiest oil on Earth.”

Local activist Susan Turitz Cooper said, "We rallied today to convince President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. He must reject it! It offers no benefit for the United States – only catastrophe. KXL would carry the most poisonous fuel ever created. The risk to our public health is indisputable, and risk to our Planet Earth would be cataclysmic. The Keystone XL pipeline must be rejected, because we have only one Planet Earth. We have no other place to live."

Aly Tharp, member of the Tar Sands Blockade and Texas Action Coalition for the Environment, added, “There is great tyranny in the current labeling and shipment of tar sands diluted bitumen as if it's one-hundred-percent petroleum crude oil. In reality tar sands is a synthetic and highly toxic petroleum slurry that is also tax exempt from the government oil spill cleanup fund. It is certainly not in the interest of the land, water and people of the USA and Canada to approve the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline and enable these toxins to pollute our homes and wreck our atmosphere. President Obama has publicly stated that this is the generation that may see the end to the tyranny of oil. We are taking him up on that.”

The fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has energized millions and become a test of the Obama Administration’s commitment to dealing with the climate crisis. In June, 145 former Obama staffers sent a letter to Obama, calling on him to reject Keystone XL, and over 75,000 people have committed to peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience to stop the pipeline from being built.

As part of the largest grassroots movement on an environmental issue in a generation, activists have met President Obama and other members of the Administration at nearly all of their public events and demanded that the President keep his promises on climate and reject the permit for the pipeline. To read more about these grassroots activities, please click here.

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