CHICAGO– Tonight over a hundred local activists participated in a protest vigil at the Chicago State Department Office calling on President Obama to reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline following the release of the State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The Chicago vigil was one out of 300 vigils attended by thousands of activists nationwide highlighting the fact that the Keystone XL pipeline will be a huge source of carbon pollution, clearly failing the climate test set by President Obama.
CREDO, the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, 350.org, Tar Sands Free Midwest and IIRON Student Network among a host of other groups, organized the vigils following the State Department’s release of the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on Friday. Protests across the country, including major events in insert major cities, included thousands of demonstrators urging the president to keep his word in the fight against climate change and reject the controversial pipeline.
“Thousands of activists across the country are reminding President Obama that the pipeline clearly fails the climate test he set,” said Elijah Zarlin, Senior Campaign Manager at CREDO. “These people want to do everything they can to help the president make strides to fight climate change in his second term - what he can accomplish all comes down to his decision on Keystone XL.”
"President Obama has asked U.S. citizens many times to tell him if we want the Keystone XL Pipeline built in our backyards,” said Laura Sabransky, Sierra Club Illinois Volunteer Leader. “For years, thousands of Americans have expressed concerns about public health and the environment to the President and the State Department, demanding the dirty Keystone XL Pipeline be rejected. We have already seen the damage that other tar sands pipelines have wrought upon our environment so we know this extra-large pipeline would harm families and our ability to address the devastating consequences of climate disruption."
"It's absurd to question the climate impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said Dylan Amlin, leader in the IIRON Student Network. “KXL means disaster for our planet, and it's in the interest of survival that people across the country are uniting to stop this pipeline. We must organize to make our voices louder than those of Big Oil: President Obama must stop the pipeline."
"The bottom line is that if we are to stop runaway climate change, we need to stop all tar sands infrastructure in this country,” said Debra Michaud of Tar Sands Free Midwest. “This includes the Keystone which passes through particularly environmentally sensitive regions, and it includes the multitude of other tar sands pipelines that are being constructed in the U.S. at this moment."
Keystone XL is a tar sands pipeline that would transport some of the dirtiest crude oil on the planet from Alberta Canada, and across American soil for export. The vigils are part of a nationwide campaign to try and stop the pipeline from ruining the climate and endangering communities along the proposed pipeline route.