As promised, thousands of environmental activists showed up in DC, Sunday, to march to the White House inopposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.
He exhorted the president to block the pipeline; “if you fail to act now to deal with this crisis, that is a gun - a gun pointed at the head of the future. “History will judge you twenty years from now, based on one decision alone,” he declared.
The rally attracted 35,000 people,according to organizers, who called it the largest climate-changeprotest in U.S. history. They said it marked the rise of a nationalmovement demanding action on global warming as President Barack Obama weighs whether to approve the $5.3 billion pipeline.
“Twenty-five years from now, nobody is going to look back at our eraand say, ‘Boy, I wonder how that fiscal cliff thing came out,'” Bill McKibben,founder of 350.org, an environmental group dedicated to fightingclimate change and one of the sponsors of the rally, told reportersbefore the event. “Everyone is going to look back and say, ‘Well, theArctic melted, and then what did you do?'”
The rally should show Obama that he has “the support he needs to block this pipeline,” McKibben said.
Supporters of the pipeline include business groups, congressional Republicans, organized labor and 69% of the American people. Only 17% were opposed according to a recent Harris poll. Proponents argue that the pipeline will generate “$20 billion inprivate-sector investments in the U.S., create 20,000 direct jobs,118,000 spinoff jobs and pay about $5 billion in taxes to localcounties over the lifespan of the project.”
Sean McGarvey, the AFL-CIO’s president of building andconstruction trades, said he expected the labor federation to come out “affirmatively in support of the pipeline” in the coming couple weeks.