VIDEO: Keystone XL Vigil, Last Public Comments

Zoe eloquently delivered her public comments against the Keystone XL pipeline to a freezing crowd of supporters outside the federal building in Seattle, WA. The report from the State Dept on whether the international pipeline gets completed will go to the President in May.

As I write you only have 3 hours left to submit a comment (by midnight EST Friday  March 7th, 2014 to the State Dept!submitComment;D=DOS-2014-0003-0001) for the report headed to the President’s desk, your opinion on the Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t count.

Well, OK, your opinion still counts, and you can still make a ruckus and be heard; you can call the President’s White House line right now. In fact you can write the editor, join a protest, and get your neighbors to join you. But you won’t be counted among over 2,000,000 comments environmental groups delivered to the Dept of State this month opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. With this deadline, the time for the President to decide moves one step closer.

This marks the end of the official process for public input, which means now things get really interesting. If you want to make a difference now, you have several options. Over 75,000 people have pledged to commit civil disobedience if the President signals that he is going to approve the pipeline.

We carbon-based lifeforms simply can’t allow tar sands into the pipeline. No matter what the law allows, our children won’t survive the Keystone XL.

Why such a fuss over one oil pipeline? It’s true there are other pipelines, and trains, moving Canada’s product south. And it’s true we need oil to drive around.

But Keystone XL commits us to decades of driving on the world’s absolute dirtiest fuel, from the 2nd largest oil reserve in the world. GreenHouse Gas emissions from extracting tar sands and making the sludge for shipping pollute as much methane and CO2 as our large metropolitan areas, and that’s before the tar sands oil gets refined and burned. In front of the White House, along with 1,200 people committing civil disobedience, Dr. James Hansen told the President and the world that building this pipeline to speed up burning the tar sands in Canada equals, “Game over for the planet.” 

The Keystone XL pipeline leads to a Carbon Bomb that we must leave in the ground. Since Alberta tar sands oil is already showing up in our gas tanks, we all have to drive less, and find ways to stop the oil trains and other pipelines delivering this extra deadly stuff from Canada, and from the Bakken Shale fracking wells in North Dakota. Our children depend on us now to stop using fossil fuels.

No More “All Of The Above” Energy As for the President, he has a chance to choose dirty energy or clean energy with the stroke of a pen. Until now he has expanded both kinds, simultaneously leading greater expansion in renewables and in our fossil fuel extraction faster than George W. Bush. The fracking creates boomtowns and jobs for roughnecks, but risks contaminating our water supplies. But opening up a pipeline to 800,000 barrels of tar sands every day, or not, stands as the greatest single climate decision he gets to make as President.

Chris Hayes articulates our chemical addiction and the President’s “intervention moment”. an excellent commentary.

Zoe spoke up at a Keystone Xl Vigil in February 2014. You can watch more of the vigil here.

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