A Letter from the Organizational Leaders of the Nation's Leading Environmental and Allied Groups

Endorsements — the tar sands action team July 20, 2011 at 11:59 pm

We’re honored to post a letter from the executive directors, coordinators, presidents and other organizational leaders of the nation’s leading environmental and allied groups, writing in their capacity as individual citizens, encouraging us all to take part in the sit-ins this August at the White House. 

Dear Friends,

We’re the leaders of some of the continent’s environmental and allied groups, and we’re doing something odd here: writing not in our professional capacities, but as individuals, to urge you to consider taking part in planned protests later this summer in Washington.

The demonstrations, which may involve some peaceful civil disobedience, are designed to persuade the administration to block plans for the so-called Keystone XL pipeline. That pipeline will run from the tar sands of the Canadian province of Alberta down to Texas. It raises great risks from leaks and spills along the way, and it damages indigenous lands; native leaders and local farmers and ranchers have mounted spirited protest along the way.

But this is also a national and global issue, because the tar sands are the second-largest pool of carbon on the planet. Anything–like this pipeline–that makes them easier to exploit is a threat to the earth’s atmosphere. The great climatologist James Hansen said recently that if the tar sands go into heavy production it’s essentially “game over” for the climate.

That’s why, on June 22nd, eleven of the continent’s distinguished indigenous leaders,  scientists, activists, and environmental writers issued a call to join them in Washington in August. You can read the letter and sign up to get involved at: tarsandsaction.org. They remind us that the president, who will make this decision alone, without Congressional approval, asked people to keep pressure on him after he was elected, because that would make it easier for him to do the right thing.

Keeping that pressure on is part of our job as citizens, and it’s in that role–not in our day jobs–that we’re signing this letter. Thanks for your consideration.

Ashley Anderson/Tim DeChristopher (Peaceful Uprising)
May Boeve (350.org)
Peter Bahouth (US Climate Action Network)
John Cavanagh (Institute for Policy Studies)
Ronnie Cummins (Organic Consumers Association)
Alisa Gravitz (Green America)
Steve Kretzman (Oil Change International)
Katey Lauer (Alliance for Appalachia)
Rabbi Michael Lerner (Interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives)
Michael Marx (Corporate Ethics International)
Kathy McNeely (Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns)
Asher Miller (Post Carbon Institute)
Kirsten Moller (Global Exchange)
Frank O’Donnell (Clean Air Watch)
Dianna Ortiz (Pax Christi USA)
Reagan Richmond (Southern Energy Network)
Katie Robbins (Healthcare-NOW!)
Nancy Romer (Brooklyn Food Coalition)
Sonia Silbert (Washington Peace Center)
Nancy King Smith (Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth)
Rebecca Tarbotton (Rainforest Action Network)
Mike Tidwell (Chesapeake Climate Action Network)
Laura Scher/Michael Kieschnick (Credo Mobile)
Kieran Suckling (Center for Biological Diversity)
Rabbi Arthur Waskow (Shalom Center)
Robert Weissman (Public Citizen)
Bill Whitaker (Oregon Rural Action)
Rev. Lennox Yearwood (Hip Hop Caucus)

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