Dear President Obama— Earlier this year you walked across Lafayette Square to meet with the Chamber of Commerce officials, who have spent more money defeating progressive candidates than any other group in our nation. You joked that you wished you’d done it sooner, and that you should have brought them a plate of cookies when you moved in. Maybe tomorrow you could take the time to walk half that far, to see a big cross-section of us, many of who worked to get you elected. We’ve conducted the largest civil disobedience protest in many years on your front door for the last two weeks, with more than a thousand Americans from every state in the union getting arrested. The only response we’ve heard from the White House is your press secretary saying he had chosen not to discuss our action with you. We’re opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline because it’s an environmental disaster. It scars the landscape where the tarsands are mined, it presents unacceptable risks of spills in crucial parts of the American interior, and it’s a fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the continent. Your premier climate scientist, NASA’s James Hansen, who was arrested earlier this week, said heavy exploitation of the tar sands would mean it was “essentially game over” for the climate. You alone will get to make the choice of whether to grant a “presidential certificate of national interest” to this project. We hope you’ll join us to hear our assessment of the project. We don’t have as much money as the Chamber of Commerce, but maybe that shouldn’t always be the deciding factor. Sincerely, Bill McKibben
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