“The U.S. State Department’s final report on the Keystone XL today is an insult to anyone who expects government to work for the interests of the American people,” said the Sierra Club in a press release this morning. “The Sierra Club and our 1.4 million members and supporters are looking to President Obama for bold action and we urge him to reject this abomination.”
NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen will join a large delegation of interfaith leaders for next Monday’s sit-in. Actor and natural gas fracking activist Mark Ruffalo will join Tuesday’s demonstration before a large contingent of former youth organizers for Obama risk arrest Wednesday morning.
By Clayton Thomas-Muller
The purpose of these actions is to send a direct message to President Obama to deny approval of the 1,702 mile Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would be transporting pollution from the tar sands (also known as oilsands) of Canada to the United States by carrying 900,000 barrels per day of thick, corrosive, toxic, synthetic crude oil for refining in Texas and the Gulf States. If approved, the Keystone XL would lock the US into a dependency of energy intensive, hard-to-extract dirty oil and create a massive expansion of the world’s dirtiest and most environmentally destructive form of oil development currently taking place in northern Alberta Canada. These operations are already producing 1.5 million barrels per day and having horrendous environmental justice and human rights impacts on the way of life and health of the local Native communities of Cree, Dene and Métis.
The proposed pipeline threatens to pollute freshwater supplies in America’s agricultural heartland and grasslands with increased emissions in already-polluted communities of the Gulf Coast. The Keystone XL would cross Indian Country; States of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas encompassing Indian-US treaty territories crossing water aquifers and rivers, grasslands, cultural sites and ecological sensitive areas. Leaks and spills are common occurrences from such pipelines that could result in disproportionate impact to Native Nations and thousands of tribal members. A spill from the Keystone XL poses an even greater threat, given that the pipeline would run directly through the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies one-third of our nation’s ground water used for irrigation, and drinking water to 2 million citizens.