Reject and Protect: A Massive– Possibly Final– Stand Against Keystone XL
Beginning on April 22nd, a group of ranchers, farmers and tribal communities from along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route, called the Cowboy Indian Alliance, will ride into Washington DC and set up camp near the White House to tell President Obama to reject the pipeline.
The proposed 1,179-mile crude oil pipeline would begin in Alberta, Canada extend to Steele City, Nebraska and then move onward to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Environmental groups point out that the pipeline encourages the use of the "dirtiest" variety of fossil fuels, rather than a move to renewable energies and that any spills from the viscous tar sands oil the pipeline would transport could prove impossible to clean up. They also point out that the Pipeline, once built, would require as little as 35 long-term jobs to maintain, and would transport crude destined for overseas markets.
On April 26th, thousands of people will join them to stand together for a final message "that the Keystone XL pipeline and the tar sands must be rejected — to protect this, and future generations." The group will present a tipi to President Obama, to represent the both the hope that President will reject the pipeline, and a promise to "protect our land and water if he chooses to let the pipeline move forward."
This action follows the delivery, in March, of over 2 million public comments opposing the construction of the Pipeline, by activists from a coalition of environmental organizations.
Later, on April 7th, more than 100 of the nation's preeminent scientists and economists signed on to an open letter to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, urging them to reject the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline "as a project that will contribute to climate change at a time when we should be doing all we can to put clean energy alternatives in place."
Federal agencies have until May 7th to issue opinions about the construction of the pipeline, after which time the State Department is expected to issue its decision. Once that happens, agencies have another 15 days to object, and if that happens, President Obama will make the decision whether to issue the permit. The President, however, may choose to delay the decision until after the Nebraska Supreme Court issues a ruling as to whether TransCanada may use eminent domain to take land away from landowners who deny the company access to their property.
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