Industry Sources Admit Keystone XL Key to Tar Sands Development

News — the tar sands action team October 31, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

Yesterday we got some of the strongest confirmation yet that efforts to stop the Keystone XL pipeline are having a long-term impact on the tar sands industry. It’s clearer than ever that President Obama’s decision on the  pipeline will have a critical impact on the development of the tar sands in Alberta – potentially leading to “stranded oil sands” long term.

Canada’s Financial Post – the premier business magazine of Canada – published an article detailing how the escalating pressure to stop Keystone XL is causing investors in the tar sands to reconsider their long term plans for exploiting the world’s second largest pool of carbon. Organizing by environmental justice advocates across the country has put the Keystone XL pipeline in question, which in turn has revealed just how important the pipeline would be to the development of the tar sands industry.

Here is the key conclusion from the Financial Post – read the whole thing here.

“The signs are there: the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline has festered into an uncomfortable election issue for the U.S. president, Barack Obama.

The upshot for Canada: a decision on whether to grant a Presidential permit, promised by year end, could once again be delayed.

The reality is that anything short of a go-ahead in December for Keystone XL would plunge the oil sands sector into disarray until new solutions move forward. The worst-case scenario? Stranded oil sands — for years.

Keystone XL, with a capacity to carry up to 830,000 barrels a day from Alberta to Texas, was due for startup in early 2013. There is no backup on the same scale or timeline.”


Reporters Push White House Press Secretary on Keystone XL

Uncategorized — the tar sands action team @ 6:47 pm

White House press secretary Jay Carney was pushed to come up with some answers on the Keystone XL pipeline during a press conference this afternoon at the White House. It’s a great sign of our success that the White House press pool is now pushing the President’s spokesperson on the pipeline — the message is clearly getting to the Administration that people across the country want this project stopped.

Not surprisingly, Carney tried to dodge the question and pass off the decision on Keystone XL to the State Department, saying, “This is a decision that will be made by the State Department and they are taking into … account public comment and comments certainly from experts, both environmental, as well as energy experts.” He later added, “I understand you’re trying to get me to engage in something that’s — that’s being reviewed over at the State Department, and, you know, my comments weren’t meant to address the Keystone issue.”

But we know that the real decision on Keystone XL is going to be made in the Oval Office. Here was Bill McKibben’s response to Carney’s comments:

Last week in Denver, the President reiterated his involvement in this decision, saying, ‘No decision’s been made and I know your deep concern about it, so we will address it.’ Now he wants us to believe that he’s delegating a decision that’s turned into a political flashpoint to the State Department? We’ve known from the very beginning that this decision would be made in the Oval Office–not at State, not at the EPA. It’s called a ‘Presidential Permit,’ and across the country we’ll hold him responsible for this decision. It’s time to do the right thing, not pass the buck–passing the buck has gotten us in the mess we’re in.

We’ll be driving that point home this November 6, when thousands of us surround the White House and push President Obama to live up to his promises and stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Looks like press secretary Carney should prepare for some more tough questions.


Tar Sands Action arrives in Fargo, ND

News — the tar sands action team @ 5:51 pm

This post was written by Dean Hulse. To join the Tar Sands Action in DC on November 6th, click here:

The Tar Sands Action movement came to Fargo, ND, on Friday, Oct. 28, when about 20 protesters gathered in a nearby pastry shop and then marched across the street to the Obama for America campaign office (opened on Oct. 22). After marching on the sidewalk and being filmed by local media, they delivered more than 75 individually signed petition placards asking Obama to keep his promise and say “NO” to the Keystone XL pipeline. A camera crew from a local TV station followed the protesters up to the campaign office and filmed the exchange between the campaign’s state director and protesters.


Robert Redford: Join Nov. 6 Keystone XL White House Protest

News — the tar sands action team @ 1:17 pm

Actor Robert Redford released a new video on Monday inviting people to surround the White House this Nov. 6 to push President Barack Obama to deny a permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Thousands are expected to join the White House protest, scheduled exactly one year before the 2012 election.

In the video, Redford says: “On November 6, thousands will gather outside the White House. Together, in a show of solidarity the crowd will encircle the ‘People’s House.’ The crowd will show the President that if he stands up to Big Oil like he promised to do, he will have the people’s support. Now is the time for the President to show true leadership and help to move the country off  of oil. We have better energy choices.”


David Strathairn's Invitation to Join Action at White House Nov. 6th

News — the tar sands action team October 28, 2011 @ 11:15 am

WASHINGTON, DC – Actor David Strathairn has released a powerful new video inviting concerned citizens to surround the White House on Nov. 6 to show President Obama that he has the people’s support if he stands up to Big Oil and denies a permit for a dangerous proposed oil pipeline. Exactly one year from the election, thousands of citizens will surround the White House carrying signs and banners with words from President Obama’s 2008 campaign about the need to end ‘the tyranny of oil.’


Oglala Vice President Tom Poor Bear Confronts President Obama on Keystone XL

News — the tar sands action team October 27, 2011 @ 9:59 am

This post was written by Tom Poor Bear, Vice President of the Oglala Lakota Nation.

Today I was removed from Obama’s speech at the University of Colorado in Denver for sharing words that have been weighing on my heart. Because I was stopped before I could fully express myself this morning, I would like to share these words now.


Barbara in PA: 80 yrs Old, Arrested Once, Back Again Nov. 6th

Why I am coming to DC — the tar sands action team October 26, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

To join Barbara and thousands of others at the White House November 6th, click here:

I worked very hard to help elect Barack Obama-everything from phone banking, rallies and going door to door, even in the rain.

I believed what he said and thought he could (or would) actually change the direction of our country away from the environmental destruction wrought by heartless and greedy corporations and the endless wars feeding the limitless appetites of the war profiteers.

What a mistake! Obama has backed away from every promise he made. That’s why I was arrested on August 24th at the Tar Sands protests trying to convince him that he must stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.


Pres. Obama Responds to #NoKXL in Denver!

Uncategorized — Team @ 2:39 pm

Breaking news courtesy of Politico

President Obama told a heckler at a rally on Wednesday that he’s “looking at” a pipeline project that has angered the environmental community.

Protesters at Obama’s speech at the University of Colorado held a banner reading “Stop the Keystone Pipeline Project” and yelled at him. Obama paused in his speech, then said, “We’re looking at it right now.”

“No decision’s been made,” he said, acknowledging their “deep concern” about the pipeline that would go from Texas to Canada.

Obama added, “We will address it.”


Lawmakers Request State Department Probe on Keystone XL

Uncategorized — Team @ 1:59 pm

Big news today: a group of lawmakers in the Senate and House are requesting a formal investigation into the growing #tarscandal at the State Department. The news comes as Tar Sands Action is running ads in the Washington Post, New York Times, and online calling for President Obama to stop this “environmental crime in progress.”

Along with a letter to the State Department Inspector General asking for an investigation into whether conflicts of interest have tainted the pipeline review process, the Senators sent a letter directly to President Obama citing “serious concerns” about the integrity of the review and asking the White House to withhold any decision on the project until the inspector general’s investigation is completed, made public and evaluated.

“Given the significant economic, environmental, and public health implications of the proposed pipeline, we believe that it is critical that the State Department conduct thorough, unbiased reviews of the project,” the lawmakers wrote to Deputy Inspector General Harold W. Geisel.

To read the letter to the State Department office of the inspector general, click here.

To read the letter the President Obama, click here.

A special thanks to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who is leading this effort and who has consistently been a champion for the cause of stopping the Keystone XL. Senator Sanders has been a long time advocate on behalf of working people and the environment and this fight is no exception. As he’s pointed out again and again, the Keystone XL pipeline is not in the interest of the 99% and the United States of America.

With ads in national papers, major rallies across the US, huge crowds preparing for November 6, the State Department considering delaying a decision on the pipeline, and lawmakers launching formal inquires into the #tarscandal, the fight against Keystone XL is definitely picking up steam. Now is no time to let up. Let’s keep moving!


Joanie from MT: No Turning Back

Why I am coming to DC — Team October 25, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

I spent the first 6 decades of my life in Berkeley, and the last 4 years in Montana; in one place city life pulsing with all its urgency, and in the other small town life moving more slowly, with the geese calling overhead.  In spite of the huge differences between these two places, the same deep problems are sapping the strength of both urban and rural areas.

Everywhere we are living with the shackles of oil and the endless appetites of that voracious master: wars against innocents, destruction of communities, the beginnings of climate chaos, relentless harm toward the natural world, and barriers to creating the beauty of green energy and a livable future. We don’t have much time left to turn things around.  That matches my place in my own lifespan…I may not have much time left either, and I want to use my hands to help shape the clay of the future.

When the invitation to the DC XL Protest arrived at my desk, I spoke aloud,  Yes, yes yes! A feeling of clarity settled over me; I’d been waiting for this moment. After years of demonstrations, petitions, letters to legislators, and long meetings, I couldn’t shake the sense that more was needed.  I knew the next step was civil disobedience. I joined the tar sands action that morning because it unified people in a single purpose both specific (the pipeline must not be built) and symbolic (we must renounce an oil future).  At the next board meeting for our progressive local group Montana Women For, I invited others to join.

We became “The Four Grandmothers From Montana’. A grandmother is a person who has lived long enough to personally watch the chain of life replicate itself in new generations. That gift always comes with its twin: responsibility for the lives we chose to bring into this world.


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