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Nationwide Vigils Held Against the Keystone Pipeline
Last night, across the country, there were over 280 vigils against the Keystone pipeline in 48 states and Washington, DC. The National Wildlife Federation stood in solidarity with groups like the Sierra Club and 350.org as we asked President Obama a simple question: will he be a “pipeline president” or a “climate champion”?
Standing in front of the White House, activists and polar bears united to show President Obama how important it is to say no to Keystone and no to our addiction to fossil fuels. The Keystone project would pump filthy tar sands oil from Canada through America to be refined in the Gulf Coast. This pipeline would cut through wildlife habitat and communities across America’s heartland, putting them at risk of spills and accidents. Just this week, Chris Hayes of MSNBC called America out on our addiction to dirty fuels:
“Our nation, our society, is addicted to fossil fuel. Quite literally we are dependent on it. We have a chemical dependency and we need to break it or we will raise the temperature of the earth so much it will invite massive risk of widespread catastrophe, disaster and misery.”
Keystone XL would feed our fossil fuel obsession when we need to be breaking the habit. Last night, Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus gave an energizing speech where he insisted, “We must transition from fossil fuels to clean energy and we must do it now!”
— Andrew Satter (@asatter) February 3, 2014
This nationwide anti-Keystone outcry comes just days after the State department released their highly-anticipated environmental impact statement on the project. The report has, for the first time, acknowledged the significant carbon impacts of the project stating that it could cause the equivalent carbon emissions of up to almost 6 million new cars being put on the road. This report has given President Obama all the information he needs to deny the pipeline.
In the State of the Union address last week, President Obama stated unequivocally that, “The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.” The debate is also over on Keystone: the pipeline would be a climate disaster. If President Obama is truly believes what he said in the State of the Union, he will deny the Keystone pipeline and make secure his legacy as a climate champion.