Environmentalists, terrified that Barack Obama may abandon them and approve the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would transport heavy crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, are threatening a massive act of civil disobedience with 50,000 people willing to be arrested.
Becky Bond, political director at CREDO, a division of the leftist group Working Assets, said, “With our Keystone XL pledge of resistance, over 50,000 of us have put President Obama on notice that we will risk arrest to make him take meaningful action on climate by rejecting Keystone XL.” Working Assets is a group whose members use the CREDO Mobile, CREDO Long Distance and the Working Assets credit card. Every time they do, Working Assets “automatically sends a donation to nonprofit groups working for peace, human rights and the environment.”
Obama recently met with House GOP members eager to start the pipeline, causing environmentalists to fear that Obama would approve the project. But then his political arm, Organizing for America (OFA) sent an email reassuring opponents of the pipeline that read:
They’ll try to block the EPA’s climate change rules, end renewable energy tax credits, and circumvent the State Department’s process evaluating the Keystone XL oil pipeline. This kind of backhanded environmental attack is what’s broken in Washington — powerful special interests are calling the shots right now. If we want to start fixing it, we’ve all got to stand up and fight back.
The email urged OFA sympathizers to dissuade Congress from “trying to load up the budget with anti-environment amendments.”
An OFA spokesperson said:
There are a number of members of Congress who have tried to circumvent the process to determine whether it is in our national interest for the Keystone Pipeline to be approved and we believe that it is important that process be seen fully through. The process has been overseen by the State Department for both Republican and Democratic administrations in order to take the decision out of politics and OFA believes this is an important process to reach a sound decision that must not be undercut.
The White House released a statement that read:
The president has made clear that continuing to confront climate change will be a priority in his second term, building on the historic progress already achieved in his first term, including establishing historic fuel economy standards that will nearly double how far our cars go on a gallon of gas, saving families $1.7 trillion, reducing oil consumption, and slashing carbon pollution. At the same time the president will continue to take steps to increase our energy independence.
The Sierra Club was buoyed by the email; Kate Colarulli, speaking for the Sierra Club, said, “We were obviously very excited to see that. It was really great to see the email from OFA … I hope that email and the response it will get really help show OFA and show the White House team that the people who elected Obama want to see him reject Keystone.”
The environmentalist Left will get even more hysterical now; on Friday, the Senate voted 62 to 37 on a non-binding resolution calling for Keystone to be approved, and 17 Democrats joined the full cadre of Republicans in voting their support. Even Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) (Colo.), the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, voted aye. This puts pressure on Obama to approve the pipeline.
Gene Karpinski, the president of the league of Conservation Voters, said, “Big Oil may have bought themselves this meaningless vote, but the decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline remains where it’s been all along – with Secretary Kerry and President Obama. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is all risk and no reward, risking massive oil spills on American waterways so this company can ship oil to places like China.”