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Keystone XL Pipeline Protests: Phase Two

09/08/2011

Image credit: flickr user tarsandaction

Opposition to the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline–which would transport oil from the Albertan tar sands to the state of Texas–has resulted in 1,200 activists getting arrested for their protests outside the White House. As well, over 600,000 people worldwide have signed petitions.

Among those who have spoken out against the pipeline are The Center for American Progress, the Dalai Lama, actress Daryl Hannah, author/activist Naomi Klein and leading climate scientist James Hansen, who said that extracting oil from the tar sands in large amounts would mean game over for Earth’s climate.

Signing the petition, by the way, takes less than a minute.

The opposition to all this opposition is also mounting. Those in support of the pipeline are attempting to portray it as ethical, since the major alternative to oil from the tar sands is oil from Saudi Arabia, a country that oppresses women. Never mind that helping speed up climate change, which promises to negatively affect us all, is extremely unethical.

American Energy Secretary Steven Chu has also signaled his support–or at least his condoning–of the pipeline, despite his talk elsewhere about the threat posed by climate change.

Finally, the U.S. State Department has issued a report that claims the pipeline’s construction will have “no significant impact” locally, and minimal effect on greenhouse gases. Guess they’re not listening to the scientists.

Nevertheless, the man who initiated the protests, Bill McKibben, has announced Phase Two, which involves a continued focus on the White House while encouraging people to conduct gatherings in their communities to discuss the pipeline and its environmental impacts. There are also plans to approach Obama campaign offices to remind the president of his words while running for office in 2008:

Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.

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