Last night, as part of a day of action that saw events in all fifty states, 300 Bay Area #NoKXL activists rallied in front of a State Department office in downtown San Francisco. RAN staff was proud to participate, along with our friends at CREDO and Idle No More.
RAN climate campaigner Todd Zimmer fired up the crowd:
What do we want? Climate justice!
Idle No More's beautiful banners:
Pennie Opal Plant, of Idle No More, spoke to the proposed pipeline's impact on frontline communities:
An activist sent a message to President Obama:
RAN's climate and energy program director, Amanda Starbuck, on the devastation Keystone XL would wreak on the climate:
RAN staffers Sophie Roudané (center, in scarf) and Andrea Skinner (far right):
Be sure to check out pictures from rallies across the country!
Yesterday the movement to stop Keystone XL showed up in force once again, with thousands of you coming together at 158 events in all 50 states—all organized in about 72 hours! Even more impressive, many events happened in the bitter cold of winter, with temperatures in the single digits in many locations.
There were too many incredible moments from yesterday to name them all, but here are some of our favorites: hundreds encircled the federal building in Seattle with the message “Climate Justice Now, Reject Keystone XL”; Indigenous communities across the country held #OcetiRising solidarity vigils with the Oceti Sakowin pipeline fighters on the Keystone XL route; Nebraska residents rallied outside the offices of Brad Ashford (D-NE) to condemn his vote for pro-Keystone legislation; in DC, we delivered 500,000 petition signatures to the president (including many from RAN members!); and in San Francisco, 300 people joined RAN, Idle No More, and CREDO for a rally in the financial district.
Together we demonstrated our dedication to stopping this pipeline, no matter what it takes, and to keeping a laser-like focus on President Obama, no matter what sideshows go on in Congress and elsewhere. At the end of the day, this is still the president’s decision to make, and we’re not going to relent until he does the right thing and rejects this dangerous, destructive project for good.
Thank you to everyone who came out to hold signs in the bitter cold, chant, and tell the president to reject KXL now!
Via our friends at the Sierra Club, check out the full story of yesterday’s events below:
Be sure to check out our gallery of pictures from last night's big rally in San Francisco.
January 13, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, 507-412-7609
Claire Sandberg, Rainforest Action Network, firstname.lastname@example.org, 646-641-6431
Josh Nelson, CREDO, email@example.com, 202-550-6175
Karthik Ganapathy, 350.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, (347) 881-3784
Mark Westlund, Sierra Club, email@example.com, 415-977-5719
David Turnbull, Oil Change International, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-316-3499
Keystone XL Opponents Rally in All 50 States
In coast to coast rallies, thousands call on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline immediately
Thousands of local activists rallied at events in all 50 states Tuesday to urge President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline because the project fails the president’s own climate test. Following the conclusion of the Nebraska court case that the president cited as part of the process that was delaying his decision, people from all walks of life called on President Obama to reject Keystone XL without delay.
At 158 separate events from Maine to Los Angeles, thousands of activists chanted, sang songs, and held signs and banners calling on President Obama to reject Keystone XL, with many weathering frigid temperatures in the single digits. High school students rallied in Mission, South Dakota on the Rosebud Sioux Indian reservation, where tribal leaders recently called Keystone XL "an act of war." In Nebraska, Omaha Pipeline Fighters rallied outside the offices of U.S. Rep Brad Ashford (D-NE) to condemn his vote for pro-Keystone legislation in Congress. Hundreds encircled the Henry Jackson Federal Building in Seattle. In Milwaukee, WI, activists spelled out, "Reject KXL Now" in lights on a highway overpass. In Washington, D.C., a coalition of groups delivered 500,000 signatures calling on President Obama to issue a final rejection on Keystone.
"Across the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation prayer rallies are taking place from small villages to larger towns, in an unprecedented effort of solidarity with all working hard to stop Keystone XL. We are praying President Obama will have courage to not only veto a KXL bill, but reject the presidential permit!” said Joye Braun, member of Unci Maka Defenders.
“We must not allow the black snake into our camps. We must send our voice to President Obama that we support him in his rejection of the KXL pipeline. We count on him now to be an ally of Mother Earth and not an enemy,” said Wioweya Najin Win, Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way & International Justice Project.)
“The power to organize, the power to educate ourselves, the power to support the farmers and ranchers in their fight to protect their land, the power to connect in person and share our energies to keep our opposition strong. This has always made a difference. We stood up to let Rep. Ashford know his vote is unacceptable and to stand with Pres. Obama in vetoing KXL,” said Deirde Evans, Omaha Pipeline Fighter and Bold Nebraska Volunteer.
“Failing to reject Keystone XL would be a devastating blow to President Obama’s legacy,” said Elijah Zarlin, a senior campaign manager at CREDO, adding “it would blunt all the momentum President Obama has built with strong progressive actions in recent weeks.” Zarlin continued, “There are no longer any excuses to avoid making a decision on Keystone XL. President Obama must seize his moral responsibility and immediately reject the Keystone XL pipeline.”
“History will judge President Obama harshly if he fails to reject Keystone XL,” said Rainforest Action Network Climate Program Director Amanda Starbuck. “If the president is serious about his legacy on climate change, a clear ‘no’ on this destructive project is the only course of action. The science is clear: to avoid a climate catastrophe, we have to leave nearly all Canadian tar sands oil in the ground. It’s time for the president to reject the pipeline.”
“We’re here today to send one message loud and clear to this White House: the time for rejection is now,” said Jason Kowalski, Policy Director for 350.org. “A lot’s changed since we began this campaign, but the facts haven’t — Keystone XL puts American land, air, and water at risk while releasing tons of new carbon into the atmosphere to hasten the worst impacts of climate change. It’s bad public policy, but President Obama’s in a better position than ever before to put this issue to bed, and reject this pipeline once and for all."
"There's a healthy and growing movement of people in this country who want to see dirty fuels like tar sands stay in the ground and move rapidly to clean energy. The events taking place today across the nation let President Obama know that the people have his back. If the president denies the Keystone XL pipeline it attests to the fact that nobody voted for dirty air, polluted water, and climate denial," said Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director.
“Today’s nationwide rallies show that the true climate leadership is in the streets where Americans are demanding action, and not in the oil-soaked halls of Congress. If President Obama hopes to be remembered as a climate leader, now’s the time to reject Keystone XL. The President has all the information — and support — he needs to reject the dirty pipeline today,” said David Turnbull, Campaigns Director, Oil Change International.
"MoveOn members are saying loud and clear that America is ready for strong, bold leadership," said Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action. "It's time for President Obama to ready his veto pen. Thousands of MoveOn members across the country are making sure he knows we'll have his back when he uses it. We won't allow Republicans to push through dangerous projects like Keystone XL or policies that jeopardize our climate and the health of our families."
After yesterday’s Nebraska Supreme Court decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, the ball is back in President Obama’s court. It’s time for him to reject the pipeline now.
Yesterday, the Nebraska Supreme Court finally weighed in on whether the proposed pipeline route for Keystone XL was legal. This was the decision we've all been waiting for--the Obama administration put the State Department environmental review process on hold pending the resolution of this case. And now the wait is over.
Unfortunately, the court sided with Big Oil over the Nebraska landowners. But President Obama can still come down on our side, and at the end of the day this decision is still his alone to make. With the question of the Nebraska route now settled, the president has no reason to delay issuing a final rejection on the pipeline.
The bottom line on Keystone hasn’t changed. President Obama vowed that the pipeline won't be built if it it adds significantly to the problem of climate change. And the evidence continues to roll in that the pipeline would be “game over” for the climate; new research published this week in the journal Nature found that if we want to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, nearly all Canadian tar sands need to stay in the ground.
But this pipeline has never been just about the facts. Keystone XL has always also been about power: people power vs. the power of Big Oil. While President Obama has come a long way in recent months—and just last week pledged to veto pro-Keystone legislation working its way through Congress—we know that we won’t win a final rejection unless we step up pressure on the president to reject Keystone now.
That’s why we’re joining with our allies at CREDO, 350, and the Sierra Club to launch a nationwide day of coordinated rallies in communities from coast to coast next Tuesday, January 13th. Will you organize or attend a rally near you?
For years the insiders have predicted that Keystone’s approval was a done deal, and again and again we’ve proven them wrong. We know that we can defeat this pipeline. But we have to be relentless, and force the issue to a head, now more than ever.
President Obama’s recent rhetoric on Keystone has been encouraging, and his promise to veto pro-Keystone legislation is a huge step in the right direction. But it’s not enough. We need to send a clear message to President Obama that if he’s serious about his legacy of global leadership on climate change, history will judge him harshly unless he rejects Keystone XL once and for all.
Let’s show President Obama we mean business. Join us next Tuesday at a Reject KXL rally near you.
Yesterday was a watershed moment in our fight to stop Keystone XL. Following weeks of criticism of the pipeline from President Obama, the White House confirmed that the president will veto Republican legislation to approve Keystone.1 That's great news for the climate and for our communities—and a huge victory for the #NoKXL movement. Now it's time for the president to reject the pipeline once and for all.
President Obama's veto threat is a testament to the dedication and resolve of millions of grassroots activists like you who have for years fought to stop this pipeline, against all odds. Together our movement has marched, written letters, sat in at the White House and along the route of the pipeline, and self-organized a large-scale network ready to do whatever it takes to win a rejection on Keystone. Thank you for your commitment.
Yesterday's announcement is the direct result of all of that hard work, and a milestone on the path to killing this pipeline for good. Now, let's take the next step, and push President Obama to reject Keystone once and for all.
The veto threat is welcome news, but our work isn't finished yet. The new Republican Congress has pledged to keep Keystone at the top of its agenda. Meanwhile, the White House says it's waiting for the results of the State Department approval process before making a final decision.
Enough. President Obama has all the information he needs to do the right thing and reject the pipeline today. He has said that he won't approve the Keystone XL pipeline if it significantly increases carbon pollution.2 Well, the evidence is in, and it is overwhelming: Keystone XL utterly fails the climate test. In fact, the pipeline would light the fuse to the continent’s biggest carbon bomb. It would kill any hope for keeping climate change within two degrees of warming. Any spill would devastate communities along the pipeline route, contaminate drinking water, and wreck delicate ecosystems.
President Obama's veto threat is a huge step in the right direction, but it's not enough. We need him to finish the job and issue a clear "no" on this disastrous project now. Call on him to reject the Keystone XL pipeline today.
1. "Obama Will Veto Keystone XL Legislation, White House Says", NPR, January 6, 2015
2. "Obama Won't Approve Keystone Pipeline Unless It Passes New Test", National Journal, June 26, 2013
President Obama has promised to veto proposed legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline. That’s great news, and a huge victory for the #NoKXL movement. Now it’s time for the president to reject the pipeline once and for all.
Thank you for promising to veto proposed legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Now I’m writing to ask you to reject the pipeline once and for all.
The evidence is in, and it is overwhelming: Keystone XL utterly fails the climate test that you set, when you affirmed that the project would go ahead only if it didn’t significantly increase carbon pollution. In fact, the pipeline would light the fuse to the continent’s biggest carbon bomb and kill any hope for keeping climate change within two degrees of warming. Any spill would devastate communities along the pipeline route, contaminate drinking water and wreck delicate ecosystems.
Your veto promise is a huge step in the right direction, but it's not enough. We need you to finish the job and issue a clear "no" on this disastrous project now. I urge you to reject the Keystone XL pipeline today.
— Alliance of 31 First Nations
This week, despite broad public opposition, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper approved Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. The Northern Gateway pipeline, seen as a backup option to the Keystone XL pipeline that is currently mired down in a political quagmire in the U.S., would ship 500,000 barrels of bitumen a day through British Columbia to the Pacific coast.
The approval sparked loud protest from First Nations groups and environmentalists. Opposition to Enbridge has already been heightened in British Columbia and with the Harper government’s announcement, opponents took to the streets of Vancouver and promised fierce resistance to the pipeline.
First Nations groups in Canada, which have long fought the pipeline, vowed to defend their land and their sovereignty with no surrender. In an unprecedented show of unity, 31 First Nations and tribal councils have signed a letter announcing their intention to "vigorously pursue all lawful means to stop the Enbridge project."
Furthermore the Uni’stot’en Clan has maintained a blockade encampment in the path of Enbridge and other proposed pipelines on their territory in British Columbia since 2009. Upon the Northern Gateway announcement they stated they “are prepared to continue to defend their territories against the incursion of government and industry.”
The environmental left has also vowed to fight back against Northern Gateway. Direct actions, protests and legal battles are being planned to stop the pipeline.
Immediately after the announcement, environmentalists launched sit-ins in Member of Parliament offices in opposition to the decision. Four were arrested at the office of James Moore, Conservative MP and Minister of Industry.
One of the four was Jackie DeRoo, MBA, a mother and retired businesswoman: “I'd never even been to a protest until Northern Gateway came along and I began to learn about climate change,” she said. “If ordinary citizens like me are willing to get arrested to stop this project, Harper can expect blockades that will make Clayoquot look like a picnic.”
At the same time as the Northern Gateway pipeline and Keystone XL campaigns, Enbridge have lobbied for a system of pipelines to send hundreds of thousands of barrels of tar sands south to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Enbridge has multiple pipelines proposed in the United States.
The oil giants are not backing off on draining the Alberta tar sands of every last drop of oil. Nor should the opposition back off in the slightest.
Photo: Direct action at Minister of Industry James Moore's office
Addiction - noun \ə-ˈdik-shən, a-\: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful. (Merriam-Webster)Citi has a problem. Despite renewing its vows in 2009 to tackle "Environmental and Social Risk Management," including mountaintop removal coal mining, Citi is relapsing into fossil fuel addiction. Last year, Citi raised more than $34 billion for the coal and oil industries, but raised less than two percent of that amount for companies developing renewable energy like wind and solar. Dirty deals led by Citi last year included a $500 million bond issued by Transcanada, proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline. The $7 billion pipeline would carry crude oil strip-mined from Canada's tar sands 1,800 miles south to the Gulf States for refining. The project would triple US oil imports from the tar sands and threaten the largest fresh-water aquifer in the world, while keeping the United States addicted to oil for many decades to come. Citi also led the combination of Massey Energy and Alpha Natural Resources. At over $7 billion, the acquisition creates the largest mountaintop removal coal mining company in the country. MTR has devastated the Appalachian landscape and displaced hundreds of families from the region. Other low points from 2010 include raising $1.3 billion for BP and Transocean — the companies responsible for the Gulf oil spill. Citi needs to stop making excuses and denying that it has a problem. That's why RAN is staging an intervention. Today, people around the world are making a difference in all of our futures by picking up the phone and calling a banker at Citi. This is no email petition, we're actually putting our supporters on the phone with the bankers that need to know about Citi's financing of fossil fuels so that they can help their company change course. If you are a Citi employee reading this and want get in touch with RAN, please email email@example.com.