Last Friday over 100 people gathered in a pub in Madison, WI to make valentines for President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. They set to work with doilies, glitter hearts and colored markers, producing a fantastic array of paper confections. Despite the festive atmosphere, however, their message was serious: Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Obama and Kerry were the objects of the group's attentions because the permitting process rests in their hands. Kerry heads the State Department, which is currently preparing a recommendation (technically, a "national interest determination") for Obama on whether to approve the pipeline. Obama will make the final decision.
Denying this permit should be a no-brainer, especially for a President who has spoken boldly of slowing the rise of the oceans
, and for a Secretary of State who himself ran for President on his strong environmental record.
However, the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS
) released by the State Department left the door wide open for approval, under the pretense that building the pipeline would somehow not increase carbon emissions. Given that the whole point of the Keystone XL would be to allow the Alberta tar sands to be moved to international markets, this is laughable. Or rather, it would be if the issue weren't so serious: according to top climatologist James Hansen, digging up and burning those tar sands would mean "game over
" for our climate.
Last Wednesday, a 30-day public comment period opened on the FEIS, so please take a moment to submit your comment here
. If you want to take your resistance to the next level, please consider also taking the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance
to engage in peaceful civil disobedience if needed to stop the pipeline.
And if you're really feeling creative, get out those scissors and construction paper. Maybe Obama and Kerry could use a little more love from us, to fortify their hearts in the face of pressure from the fossil fuel industry.