In February of 2013, 48 environmental, civil rights, and community leaders are arrested at the White House. Days later, over 50,000 climate activists kick off the new year by braving frigid temperatures for “Forward on Climate” to call on the president to take meaningful action on climate change, and to reject Keystone XL. In March, Tar Sands Blockade launches a week of solidarity actions against Keystone XL; grassroots activists take action all over North America.
Charges of oil influence over the environmental review process are given additional fuel when it’s revealed that Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Group, the State Department contractor that worked on Keystone XL’s environmental impact statement, has a direct connection to TransCanada. The news prompts an internal investigation by the State Department into possible conflicts of interest.