Keystone XL Rally in Wilmington, February 5th 2014
Over 30 Delawareans rallied in Wilmington near the I-95 overpass at the corner of Delaware Ave. and Adams St. on Wednesday at 5pm calling on President Obama to reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline following the release of the State Department’s final Environmental Impact Statement last Friday. The carbon-intense tar sands oil which would flow through the pipeline at 830,000 barrels/day would be a huge source of carbon pollution—the equivalent of up to 5.5 million new cars on the road—and clearly fails the climate test set forth by President Obama in his historic June 2013 climate change speech.
Keystone XL would transport some of the dirtiest oil on the planet from Canada, across America’s heartland, to be refined in already heavily impacted Environmental Justice communities in the Gulf Coast, then exported, primarily to Asia. While the State Department Report admits that tar sands is significantly worse for climate change than traditional crude, it stops of short of making the obvious connection between climate change and the pipeline, even implying that it would have little impact on the climate, based on the assumption this oil would somehow be extracted anyway--an assumption that we know is just plain wrong.
The rally in Wilmington is part of a coordinated campaign involving hundreds of organizations demanding that President Obama reject the pipeline, which he has sole discretion over since it crosses an international boundary. If built, the pipeline would endanger communities and invaluable aquifers along the proposed pipeline route, disenfranchise indigenous communities in Alberta and wreak havoc on our climate, further threatening Delaware’s coastlines. The event, organized by the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club, was part of a national campaign led by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, the Sierra Club and 350.org, among a host of other organizations, calling on the president to keep his commitment to reduce carbon pollution. Over 280 similar events are being held in 49 states, plus Washington D.C. and parts of Canada this week.
Stephanie Herron, organizer for the Delaware Sierra Club, said “We’re here to remind President Obama of the promises he made to us to fight climate change. He can’t be a climate leader and approve Keystone XL and he’ll need to decide what legacy he wants to leave for future generations. We’re here to tell him that Delawareans will be unfairly burdened if this pipeline is approved; As the most vulnerable state in the country to climate change-induced sea level rise, we’re seeing the impacts of carbon pollution today in our disappearing wetlands and receding coastlines. We need the President to turn his climate promises to climate action--starting with rejecting this pipeline. We will stand behind him if he defies Big Oil and rejects this pipeline and he will see us in the streets if he doesn’t.” She added that over 60,000 people have already signed up with CREDO Action to help organize and participate in coordinated acts of nonviolent civil disobedience if the pipeline is approved.