Speaking at Sunday's "Forward on Climate" march in Washington, D.C., Chief Jacqueline Thomas of the Saik'uz First Nation warns the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline will threaten indigenous communities living in its path. "When we take care of the land, the land [takes] care of us," Chief Thomas says. To see Democracy Now!'s entire coverage of Sunday's climate rally, visithttp://bit.ly/Yig2kd.
Today, on this Presidents Day weekend, tens of thousands are set to converge on the White House in what organizers are promoting as "the largest climate rally in U.S. history." The protesters will be calling on Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. For the first time in its 120 year history, the million member Sierra Club has endorsed civil disobedience actions on that day.
Presidential decisions often turn out to be far less significant than imagined, but every now and then what a president decides actually determines how the world turns. Such is the case with the Keystone XL pipeline, which, if built, is slated to bring some of the "dirtiest," carbon-rich oil on the planet from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
In the near future, President Obama is expected to give its construction a definitive thumbs up or thumbs down, and the decision he makes could prove far more important than anyone imagines. It could determine the fate of the Canadian tar sands industry and, with it, the future well-being of the planet. If that sounds overly dramatic, let me explain.
Just when it seemed that the Keystone XL pipeline was on hold, TransCanada Corp. segments the project and the U.S. government fast tracks the environmental review process. This allows TransCanada to begin construction on the southern part of the Keystone XL this summer.
With a non-violent direct action camp that starts today in East Texas, grassroots opposition is working on a construction project of its own: Tar Sands Blockade.
Building in segments, trying to get around pipeline opposition
Two Republican bills passed last week in the United States seem crafted to force movement on the issue of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline and, more subversively, to attack Barack Obama's second presidential bid.
The House of Representative bill (H.R. 3408) was passed on Thursday, February 16 by a vote of 237-187 and removed President Obama as the decision-maker responsible for deciding the fate of the pipeline. The senate has not voted on this new bill.
Republicans bring back the Keystone XL debate