On February 17th, roughly 35,000 Americans rallied on the National Mall to urge President Obama to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline proposal. The Forward on Climate Rally, organized by Sierra Club, 350, National Resources Defense Council and others, came five days after President Obama gave a State of the Union address in which he said:
“But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.”
Proponents of the Keystone XL say the pipeline is safe and pumping from tar sands is inevitable. But opponents of the pipeline and those who participated in the rally argue Keystone XL will lock the U.S. government into relying on crude oil and cause irreparable damage to the environment.