Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, First District of Nebraska: No Pipeline!

News,Uncategorized — the tar sands action team August 31, 2011 @ 4:45 pm


Fortenberry Commends Governor’s Opposition to Keystone XL Pipeline Permit

Lincoln, NE — Congressman Jeff Fortenberry today commended Governor Dave Heineman for calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama to deny permitting of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would run through the Nebraska Sand Hills and over the Ogallala Aquifer.


Tar Sands Action Solidarity Rally Greets Obama in Minneapolis

Uncategorized — the tar sands action team @ 2:56 pm

This post was written by Tim Harlan-Marks, and originally appeared on’s blog.

Yes we can say no to the Keystone XL pipeline!  That’s the message we sent to President Obama this morning as his cavalcade rolled into town.  Somehow, in less than 24 hours, a group of nearly 60 of us Minnesota climate activists went from no awareness of our commander in chief’s planned visit, to rallying outside the Minneapolis convention center with signs, smiles, and a massive banner bearing our message.  It really speaks to the movement we’re building here and how people are connecting with the urgency of this issue.

I know for myself that I have been disappointed not to be able to join my brothers and sisters sitting in on the White House lawn this week, and so it felt particularly critical to jump when an opportunity arose to send a clear message to our president about my expectations for his role in diffusing the carbon bomb that is the Keystone XL pipeline.  I am proud of the little event we put on today and warmed by the wonderful people I met.  I am also as committed as ever to showing our elected officials that we mean business about this pipeline; we will not be steamrolled by myopic soundbites about the needs of the economy; that a line has been drawn, and we will continue to demonstrate organized efforts of objection and resistance should it be crossed.”


Danielle Simms, Obama Campaign Volunteer: Because We Want Change We Can Believe In

Why I am coming to DC — the tar sands action team @ 1:43 pm

This post cross-posted from Visit them to see why other young people are opposing Keystone XL.

When I first heard about the Tar Sands Action, I thought I would attend a rally or two to support the people joining the sit-in and risking arrest. I changed my mind and decided to join them after I researched the Keystone XL pipeline and saw a map of where the pipeline would be placed.

If built, the Keystone XL will reach from tar sands in Alberta, Canada to oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. It will run from Montana to Texas and Louisiana. The people who will live near the pipeline will be the people who can’t afford to live farther away. They will be the ones too busy working multiple jobs and caring for their families to voice their concern to elected officials. Or, they will be the people who have already been disenfranchised by the political process. A lot of times, they will be communities of color.


111 Arrests at Day 12 of Tar Sands Action

News,Uncategorized — the tar sands action team @ 12:30 pm

This morning, 111 protestors sat in at the White House to oppose the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline at day 12 of the Tar Sands Action.

Demonstrators included David Daniel, whose land in East Texas would be cut in half by the Keystone XL pipeline, and Ben Gotschall, a 4th generation rancher from Nebraska, where the pipeline threatens the Ogallala aquifer that supports the states agriculture and environment. They were joined by a large contingent of organizers from across Appalachia, who not only suffer the worst of the fossil fuel industry’s abuses, but have also been pioneers in fighting back. They were joined by folks from across the map, including a group of mothers from New York, organizers with, and even one demonstrator from Alaska.

111 arrests brings the total number of arrests at the Tar Sands Action to 706, making this the largest civil disobedience in the history of the climate movement, and the largest civil disobedience for the environmental movement in a generation.

The two-week demonstration has been holding daily sit-ins since August 20th, and will continue until September 3rd. Today’s demonstration is larger than any other day of action last week, and shows that this movement will continue growing in strength.


Nebraska Gov. Heineman (R) Calls on President Obama to Deny Keystone XL Permit

News — the tar sands action team @ 12:27 pm

From the Lincoln Journal Star, 8/31/11:

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has asked President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to reject the proposed Keystone XL petroleum pipeline because of the route selection through the Nebraska Sandhills.

Read more:

BREAKING: Bill McKibben Responds to Press Sec. Jay Carney's Statements on the Tar Sands Action

News — the tar sands action team August 30, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

We just got some important evidence that this protest is working and that we’re breaking through to the mainstream media and the White House.

This morning, President Obama’s press secretary, Jake Carney, was questioned by reporters on Air Force One about our protest happening outside the White House. We’ve been trying to break through to the White House press corps for the last few days. Now, we know that we’ve struck a nerve.

Here’s the transcript from Air Force One:

Q: Also, anything on these protests outside the White House on this pipeline?  Has the President decided against TransCanada’s permit for the pipeline?  It’s the tar sands pipeline.  There have been a lot of arrests outside the White House about it.

MR. CARNEY:  I don’t have anything new on that.  I believe the State Department has — that’s under the purview of the State Department presently, but I don’t have anything new on that.

Q: Is the President aware of the protests?

MR. CARNEY:  I haven’t talked to him about it.

Now, here’s the thing: while it’s great to see the press corps pushing the Administration to recognize our demonstration, the fact that Carney hasn’t yet briefed the President on the protest and the pipeline is a worrying sign about how out of touch this administration is on this issue.

“Just in the last two days everyone from the president’s chief climate scientist to an 84-year-old grandmother was arrested on his front doorstep,” said environmental author Bill McKibben, who is spearheading the White House protest. “This is the largest civil disobedience action in the environmental movement in a generation, and if they really aren’t even discussing it with the president, that signals a deep disrespect for their supporters, especially young people who have demonstrated that the environment is a top priority.”


Why Dozens of Religious Leaders Risked Arrest to Stop Keystone XL

Why I am coming to DC — the tar sands action team @ 2:44 pm

Rose Marie Berger, a Catholic peace activist and editor at Sojourners magazine, was co-coordinator of the interfaith religious witness at the Tar Sands Action on Aug. 29. To join the final days of the Tar Sands Action, sign up here:

I’m home. I’m tired. And I feel great! Today 143 people were arrested in front of the White House to bring attention to the Keystone XL pipeline, a linchpin in the battle for climate justice. My police wristband shows that I was number 49.

With more than 60 people from the religious community joining the Tar Sands Action today, we were able to push the number of arrests over the past week up to 522.

We had a very hot ride in the police van but the Park Police processed us very quickly. We were released from custody and greeted outside with water, granola bars, and hugs. What could be better?

But the point was not to get arrested. The point was to make of our lives a living witness. To make it clear that climate change has gone too far and we are no longer going to stand idly by while our sisters, brothers, and home planet are torn apart by oil companies.


McKibben Debates Keystone XL on PBS

Uncategorized — the tar sands action team @ 8:20 am

Bill McKibben debates Manhattan Institute for Policy Research’s Robert Bryce over the Keystone XL.

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.


Bill McKibben: We Still Need You Here in DC

News — the tar sands action team August 29, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

Sign up to join here:


Aug 29 Press Release: Largest Day of Arrests Yet at White House Pipeline Protest

Uncategorized — Team @ 2:55 pm

Photo by Josh Lopez

WASHINGTON, DC – America’s top climate scientist and a large group of religious leaders were arrested at the White House this morning with 140 other Americans to push President Obama to deny the permit for a massive new oil pipeline. (1)

“If Obama chooses the dirty needle it will confirm that the President was just green-washing all along, like the other well-oiled coal-fired politicians, with no real intention of solving the addiction,” said NASA’s Dr. James Hansen, who was arrested at the White House this morning.

President Obama must decide whether or not to grant a “presidential permit” for a Canadian company, TransCanada, to begin construction of the Keystone XL, a 1,700 mile pipeline from the Canadian tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

Earlier this summer, Dr. Hansen and twenty other leading scientists sent a letter to the White House urging the President to prevent the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, writing: “If the pipeline is to be built, you as president have to declare that it is ‘in the national interest.’ As scientists, speaking for ourselves and not for any of our institutions, we can say categorically that it’s not only not in the national interest, it’s also not in the planet’s best interest.” (2)


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