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Bernie Sanders Shatters The Big Keystone XL Lie: Pipeline Will Cause US Gas Prices To Go Up


Sen. Bernie Sanders is telling the American people what the supporters of Keystone XL don’t want them to hear. The pipeline won’t create jobs, but it will cause the price of gas to increase in the United States.



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Ten hard Keystone XL facts


10 days. That’s how long we have to flood the State Department with comments opposing Keystone XL.

For the next ten days our friends across the movement are coordinating a ‘Comment Sprint’ to submit hundreds of thousands of comments against the pipeline — hopefully hitting 1 million in total.

If you’ve already submitted a comment, keep reading: you’re able to submit more than one, and in fact, you should. We want to show that people are opposed to the pipeline for many reasons, all of them grounded in hard facts, so every day for ten days, we’ll focus on a new reason to oppose the pipeline and submit new comments.

The State Department’s review has been heavy on politics and light on science, so the more we focus on the facts, the stronger our case to the President and the public will be to stop the pipeline.

The first day of the comment sprint is today. The first issue we’re focusing on is how the pipeline undermines energy security. We need to clear about one thing: TransCanada wants this pipeline so they can get tar sands oil to export.

President Obama’s job is to decide whether the pipeline is in the US national interest. TransCanada has shown that it’s not. In filings to the State Department and contracts with refiners, they’ve spelled out their plans to pad their profits by exporting it to the international market where it will fetch a higher price — putting more money in the pockets of big oil and accelerating tar sands development in Canada.


Can you submit a comment to the President and State Department explaining the energy security case for stopping the pipeline? Click here to submit your comment: act.350.org/letter/kxl-sprint-day-1/

To hit a million comments, it will take a lot of us pitching in in different ways. At 350, we won’t email you every day for 10 days (more likely 4 or 5), but we will use social media and other tools at our disposal to promote the push every day between now and the 22nd. In particular, we will be relying on our Social Media Team to share crucial info about each day’s issue — if you’d like to join the Team and help super-charge key content over the next ten days, click here: act.350.org/signup/social/

Keystone XL is a climate disaster, and an economic loser. If built, it would carry 800,000 barrels a day of tar sands to export for the next 50 years, leaving a toxic legacy for communities along the route, and a massive carbon footprint on the atmosphere. And we’re going to do whatever we can to stop it.

Thanks for all you’ve done, and all you will do to stop the pipeline.


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Big Oil Attempts to End-Run Keystone XL with Congressional Approval | Common Dreams

Published on Saturday, March 16, 2013 by Common Dreams

Big Oil Attempts to End-Run Keystone XL with Congressional Approval

“Just once, we wish these Senators would break the trend and listen to the thousands upon thousands standing up against this pipeline, instead of the Big Oil benefactors lining their campaign war chests.”

– Lauren McCauley, staff writer

The oil industry is planning an end-run around the President and State Department as they linger over the impending decision on whether to authorize the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by pushing for Big Oil friendly Congressional approval of the project.

Thousands gathered at the Forward on Climate rally on Feb. 17 2013 in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. (Photo: M.Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO) On Thursday, Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced a bill which authorizes Transcanada Corp. to construct the pipeline, opening up more than 800,000 barrels a day of heavily polluting tar sands oil.

The announcement of the bill reads: “The senators bill would approve the 1,700-mile, high-tech project under Congresss authority enumerated in the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.”

Reportedly, Hoeven last year secured an opinion from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) confirming Congresss constitutional authority to approve the project.

According to Oil Change International, “the co-sponsors of this new bill have enjoyed massive contributions from the fossil fuel industry through their careers.” According to their Dirty Energy Money database:

  • In total, the 14 Senators who have co-sponsored this bill have received nearly $10 MILLION in contributions from the fossil fuel industry, some $6.6 million of that from the oil industry alone.
  • On average, the 14 co-sponsors have received over $708,000 each from the fossil fuel industry in their career, over half of that from the oil industry.
  • Compared to the rest of the Senate, the co-sponsors of todays pro-KeystoneXL bill have received 227% more in fossil fuel-related campaign contributions on average than their counterparts.

The list of Senators cosponsoring the bill includes Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) Mary Landrieu (D-La.), David Vitter (R-La.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

“Consistency is sometimes a trait to be admired,” writes Oil Change’s David Turnbull. “But just once, we wish these Senators would break the trend and listen to the thousands upon thousands standing up against this pipeline, instead of the Big Oil benefactors lining their campaign war chests.”

This latest move follows a letter submitted in late January by 53 US Senators which urged fast-track approval of the pipeline project.

Since 2011, Congress has tried repeatedly to force the president’s approval of the project. As Reuters reports:

In late 2011 Republicans inserted language in a payroll tax cut bill giving Obama a 60-day deadline to make a decision.

Obama ruled in early 2012 the administration needed more time to evaluate a revised route through Nebraska submitted by TransCanada to avoid sensitive ecological areas.

Keystone backers in Congress pushed to override Obama’s call and approve the line themselves, but a vote last year in the Senate fell four votes short of passage.

Hoeven said this time the bill should pass because the previous vote was held before Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman approved TransCanada’s revised path of the pipeline. Hoeven also said he believed he has enough votes to overturn an Obama veto should it reach that point.


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Endangered Earth: Poll — Americans Want Congress to Stay Out of Keystone

Center for Biological Diversity

Keystone pipelineA new national poll commissioned by the Center for Biological Diversity finds that most Americans (53 percent) don’t want congressional intervention in deciding on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline — and even more (62 percent) don’t want “eminent domain” to be used to build the pipeline on private land. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, comes as the U.S. Senate is poised to decide on Keystone during ongoing budget negotiations — a step that would bypass environmental review and require that the pipeline be built without more study.

Our polling found another powerful narrative, too: Sixty-eight percent of those who voted for President Obama in November opposed the Keystone pipeline, while 76 percent say they’re concerned about the project’s impact on climate change and the environment.

Any way you look at it, the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas (carrying dirty tar-sands oil) is bad news for wildlife, our climate and ultimately the future of the planet. We’re mobilizing citizens to speak out about this disastrous project; stay tuned for how to get involved.

Read more about our poll in Politico.

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Tar Sands Resistance Escalates in Massachusetts

Tar Sands Resistance Escalates in Massachusetts

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 12:43 By Chris Longenecker, Truthout | Op-Ed

"Funeral for our Future" coffin positioned into place while clergy members speak out about the toxicity of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Photo: Chris Longenecker)

The national week of actions against the Keystone XL pipeline called for by the nonviolent direct action group Tar Sands Blockade is supposed to run from March 16-23. Activists in Massachusetts decided they wanted to turn up the heat a little early. On Monday, March 11, 2013, at about 10:30 AM, over 100 protesters stormed the Massachusetts offices of TransCanada, the company that stands to profit most from the pipeline’s construction. After two hours, 26 people were arrested for handcuffing their bodies together, blockading the entrance and refusing to leave until the pipeline project was abandoned. The action was billed as a Funeral for Our Future and included somber songs, construction paper flowers and a homemade coffin. This was the third protest as part of an escalating direct action campaign in Westborough, Massachusetts, targeting the TransCanada offices there.

Action, Preparation and Rehearsal

The energy was palpable on the evening before the action. The buzzing electricity of a convergence hours before a protest is simply intoxicating. About 100 activists were gathered, preparing to put their bodies on the line to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. I found a few friends, and we started chatting about what the next day’s events might look like. After scarcely ten minutes of conversation, a friend on the tactical team was summoned to a last-minute meeting of the folks committed to risking arrest. I followed, feeling lucky to have help navigating through the massage circles, prop construction tables and slumbering masses, towards the tense midnight consensus meetings I know all too well.

Inside the room were 25 or so people discussing their plans for the morning. Everyone had their own pair of handcuffs, which nearly all were fiddling with – getting accustomed to feeling the cold, binding metal against their wrists. The irony of locking their bodies together, using handcuffs as a tool of resistance, only to later be carted out of the offices in a similar set of jewelry, did not escape me.

Blockaders get in place and handcuff themselves together in the shadow of TransCanada's corporate emblem. (Photo: Chris Longenecker)Blockaders get in place and handcuff themselves together in the shadow of TransCanada’s corporate emblem. (Photo: Chris Longenecker)At their meeting, the “arrestables” were figuring out a number of loose ends. Since the support team was considered unarrestable and would leave when asked to by police, they would quickly lose their police liaison, a role designed to ensure conversations taking place between police and protesters have a single voice and message. A second police liaison was chosen from among the folks planning to handcuff themselves together, although it was decided this person would speak up only if absolutely necessary. This is not a group that was in any way eager to negotiate or converse with agents of the state.

They later debated whether to use wax or glue inside the locking mechanisms of the handcuffs to make extraction more difficult and prolong the length of time they would be able to obstruct the offices. While some supported it, many were concerned about their safety if something went wrong and they wanted to get up and leave the stationary mass of protesters. It was decided to leave the keyholes unmodified and keep keys on their persons. Members of the group agreed that they would regularly check in with each other, and use a “green”-“yellow”-“red” model to alert others to their moods and needs. A “red” mood would signify an immediate need to leave the protest and have their handcuffs unlocked – a word everyone was hoping to avoid uttering during the action.

Civil Disobedience: Putting Our Bodies on the Cogs of the Machine

The morning was hectic and the complex system of transportation to and from the TransCanada offices proved more difficult than envisioned. Protesters became visibly nervous that they were behind schedule and beginning to fear what might await them at the offices. Rumors began to circulate through the crowd that the police had been tipped off. People feared police would be waiting for them before they were able to go inside. A suspicious car seemed to be circling our convoy at the final rendezvous location and the driver sped off when a protester pointed in his direction. The assembled activists, already exhausted and stressed about the gravity of what they planned to do, feared the worst.

Arriving at the parking lot of the TransCanada offices, the spirits of the group instantly lifted. Police were nowhere to be seen and their tactical team was in place, guiding the cars in. After a few minutes, the protesters gained access to the facility and ran up the back stair toward their target. All their planning and rehearsing had paid off. They assembled in two lines, blocking the door to the offices and lining the hallways. A coffin bearing the slogan “Our Future” was brought in through the crowd and placed at TransCanada’s door. Exuberant songs of resistance, chanting and rhythmic stomping bellowed throughout the halls of the normally drab building.

Nearly an hour into the protest, police began to confront the protesters. They informed the group that anyone who didn’t vacate the premises would be arrested. Most left at that point, leaving the last 26 to their chosen fate. The remaining blockaders crossed arms, held hands and snapped their handcuffs into place. Sitting down in a large mass completed their act of civil disobedience.

Some of the first arrestees being brought out, still singing, chanting and feeling empowered. (Photo: Chris Longenecker)Some of the first arrestees being brought out, still singing, chanting and feeling empowered. (Photo: Chris Longenecker) The protesters who had left the blockade now gathered outside. They were singing and chanting in solidarity with their comrades inside, making sure they were loud enough that their friends chained together could hear their cries. Cheers erupted from the lively crowd every time an arrestee was brought out of the building. Eventually, the police seemed to grow weary of this and tried to get the remaining arrestees out through the back entrance. The protesters, nearly 100 strong, simply ran around back to greet their friends and thank them for their act of bravery and sacrifice.

In the end, over 100 people entered the Westborough offices of TransCanada, 26 were arrested for blockading the entrance, and business as usual in the facility was disrupted for about two hours.

When called for comment about the protest, TransCanada provided a boilerplate response emphasizing its investment in renewable energy and what it claims is the inevitability of oil consumption. “The Keystone XL pipeline offers Americans a choice of receiving that oil from a friendly nation in Canada or the U.S. continuing to import higher-priced foreign oil from nations that do not share American values,” read part of the lengthy statement.

The Birth of a Horizontal Direct Action Movement

Observing this action, one could almost feel mainstream-nonprofit-style lobbying fading away, finding itself replaced by a vibrant, grassroots environmental movement operating horizontally using consensus principles and practices. Every meeting included the theater-esque, finger-wiggling hand gestures made ubiquitous by the 2011 park occupations in Spain and the United States and long used in other movements as a silent way to measure the level of consensus in a group. Indeed, these activists were clearly more influenced by the direct-action-oriented Occupy Wall Street movement than by the lobbying of groups like United States PIRG.

(Read the rest of the article at the link below on Truthout. Please support Truthout!

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15077-tar-sands-resistance-escalates-in-massachusetts )

Chris Longenecker

Chris Longenecker, based in Boston, Massachusetts, is an agitator, organizer and direct action trainer. He is a founding member of Occupy Wall Street’s Direct Action Working Group. He is also a freelance writer, his work appearing most recently in The Indypendent, Waging Nonviolence and the Anarcho-Syndicalist Review. Follow him on Twitter @Clongenecker.

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Arrests in Washington Signal Increasing Urgency on Keystone Pipeline by Chris Francis – YES! Magazine

Arrests in Washington Signal Increasing Urgency on Keystone Pipeline

Forty-eight leaders of environmentalist groups such as the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and 350.org were arrested today while participating in civil disobedience. They were demanding that President Barack Obama stop construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

by Chris Francis
posted Feb 13, 2013

Civil disobedience on Feb 17

Leaders of environmentalist organizations engage in civil disobedience in front of the White House. Photo by Christine Irvine.

On Wednesday, Feb. 13, a group of 48 environmental and social justice movement leaders were arrested in Washington, D.C., after refusing to move from a main thoroughfare in front of the White House. Participants included the presidents, directors, and founders of major environmental groups like the Sierra Club, 350.org, Friends of the Earth, and the Labor Network for Sustainability.

The participants said they were engaging in civil disobedience in order to highlight the urgent need to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline construction. They wish to hold President Obama accountable for his statements made against the pipeline and encourage him to put a stop to the project, which they claim will damage the quality of groundwater and encourage the carbon-heavy practice of tar sands mining in Alberta.

This demonstration was an especially meaningful step for the Sierra Club. For the past 120 years, the Sierra Club has maintained a standing rule of not using civil disobedience, according to Conservation Director Sarah Hodgdon. But the urgency has finally called for this tactic.

Before leaving for the demonstration, many of the participants described their intentions in posts to the Tar Sands Action website.

If not now, when? asked Allison Chin, president of the Sierra Clubs Board of Directors. Im here to help create the space for President Obama to exercise bold leadership on climate, because I agree with him that, in his own words, failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.

We must move rapidly and responsibly toward a transformation in this country, said Cherri Foytlin, a co-founder of Gulf Change who walked to Washington, D.C. from New Orleans to participate in the demonstration. This fight is no less than the moral struggle of our time.

The demonstration precedes the upcoming Forward on Climate rally scheduled for noon on Feb. 17 at the National Mall in Washington, but the two are characterized as separate events. While todays civil disobedience was intended to protest the Keystone XL pipeline specifically, the weekends Forward on Climate rally will address multiple climate and environmental issues, including hydraulic fracturing and national standards for CO2 emissions.

Although todays demonstration included civil disobedience, organizers have asserted that the Forward on Climate rally will not. Hodgdon did not anticipate the demonstration setting a precedent for civil disobedience at the rally. The leaders have been communicating with each other to make sure everyone knows the rally will be legally cooperative.

Chris Francis wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Chris is a recent graduate from Illinois Wesleyan University where he studied English literature and religion while working as managing editor and editor-in-chief of IWUs student newspaper, The Argus.

YES! Magazine encourages you to make free use of this article by taking these easy steps., YES! Magazine. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
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