Sierra Club Decides to Break Law to Stop Keystone Pipeline

The Sierra Club has announced its approval for a "one-time" use of civil disobedience. The civil disobedience is intended to step up their efforts to oppose the Keystone pipeline.

Many of the other groups opposing Keystone have been engaging in civil disobedience as a tactic, including arson-based ecoterrorism. This will be the first time in the Sierra Club's history that they have approved violating the law.

In a January 22, 2013 press release, the Sierra Club states:

The Sierra Club Board of Directors has approved the one-time use of civil disobedience for the first time in the organization’s 120-year history.

The Club went as far as implying Hurricane Sandy was the result of humanity and stated:

Recognizing the imminent danger posed by climate disruption, including record heat waves, drought, wildfires and the devastation of superstorm Sandy, the Sierra Club board of directors has suspended a long-standing Club policy to allow, for one time, the organization to lead a group of environmental activists, civil rights leaders, visionaries, scientists, and other high-profile individuals in a peaceful protest to dirty and dangerous tar sands.  The action will be by invitation only and is being co-sponsored by

It remains to be seen if the Sierra Clubs' civil disobedience will encourage their more ideological counterparts to move even further into radicalism.

The organization says they do not take the decision to break laws lightly in their recent press release:

The recent decision made by the Board of Directors is not one we take lightly,” said Allison Chin, Sierra Club President. “As a nation, we are beginning to achieve significant success in the fight against climate disruption.  But allowing the production, transport, export and burning of the dirtiest oil on Earth now would be a giant leap backwards in that progress.  The Board is answering the urgency of this threat with our decision to engage, for one time, in civil disobedience.


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