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.”