Delawareans Ask Senator Carper to Oppose Efforts to Force Keystone XL, 5/5
Ahead of a key vote in the Senate, pipeline opponents rally outside of Senator Carper’s Wilmington office to send a clear message: “Vote No Keystone XL”
Wilmington -- A group of 40 Keystone XL pipeline opponents from local environmental and social justice organizations rallied outside of Senator Tom Carper’s office this afternoon to urge the Senator to vote against any bill that would force President Obama to approve the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Stephanie Herron, Delaware Sierra Club organizer said “this pipeline is all risk and no reward for Delaware and the United States”. “We’re here today to ask our Senator to respect that this is President Obama’s decision to make and recognize that it would be totally inappropriate for the Senate to interfere now.”
The Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill that would bypass the State Department pipeline review process and force automatic approval of the pipeline, which requires a presidential permit because it crosses an international border. Carper is one of the few undecided Senators about the 1,700 mile pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
A smaller group of activists met with Senator Carper’s district staff in advance of the rally; they said Carper “hasn’t made up his mind yet” on how he will vote. Senator Coons and the majority of Senate Democrats say that they will vote against any bill to force the president’s hand on Keystone XL.
Delaware Sierra Club Conservation Co-Chair Dr. Amy Roe was among those who met with Carper’s staff. Dr. Roe said that this is the second time she met with Carper’s staff about the Keystone XL pipeline. She got involved back in 2011 and was arrested during a civil disobedience where pipeline opponents sat-in at the Whitehouse. An expert in fisheries, Roe said she was especially concerned that Keystone XL would “cross over 1,000 rivers”.
Reverend Lennox Yearwood, President & CEO of The Hip Hop Caucus thanked Carper’s staff for his leadership on air pollution issues in the past, but said that all that good work and Senate Carper’s legacy would be negated by voting in favor of this project. Later, during the rally, Rev. Yearwood said that this is “our lunch-counter moment” as a climate movement and a society, but “instead of standing for equality, we’re standing for our future existence”.
Ariel Schwalb, a University of Delaware freshman who was among 398 students arrested in March at the Whitehouse protesting Keystone XL, believes that tar sands development unfairly impacts her generation, who will deal with the impacts of climate change. "This is not domestic energy. We should be switching to renewable energy. It's 2014, we cannot afford to keep burning these fuels.” she said
Dr. Phillip Pollner, M.D., a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, talked about the devastating health impacts of air pollution and cliate change which would be worsened if this pipeline were allowed to be built. “the Keystone XL pipeline as a result of atmospheric pollution will serve as a threat to human life and will be one of the greatest dangers to health and survival” , said Pollner. He continued, “Poisoning the atmosphere and destabilizing the climate places not only civilization but all humanity in the greatest danger of our time."
Even if you missed the event on Monday you can help out by calling Senator Carper's office and asking him to vote no on any efforts to fast track Keystone XL. His number is (202) 224-2441.
Monday, May 5, 2014