Photo by Josh Lopez
Occupy & 350.org Crash Boehner’s Office over Backroom Attempt to Revive Keystone XL
Fossil fuel industry spent over $42 million to elect politicians involved; Activists respond with “Human Oil Spill” on Boehner’s front door
Cincinnati, OH- Members of Occupy Cincinnati joined climate activists in storming House Speaker John Boehner’s West Chester, Ohio office this morning with a “human oil spill” in response to last night’s vote to force through Keystone XL. The fossil fuel industry has poured an estimated $42,000,000 into campaign coffers of the 234 House members voting in favor, including $1,100,000 to Rep. Boehner alone, according to OpenSecrets.org. The industry lists the pipeline as a top priority.
“The House brings shame on itself when its members take tens of millions in big oil money and then do the industry’s bidding. Keystone XL creates no net jobs and pours carbon into the atmosphere. That’s why millions across the country opposed it,” said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. “Its only beneficiaries are the fossil fuel industry and the politicians they support.”
A Cornell Global Labor Institute study found that any jobs stemming from the pipeline’s construction were likely be outweighed by the environmental damage it caused and a rise in gas prices in the Midwest.
Activists upset by corporate influence on the process created a “human oil spill” in front of Rep. Boehner’s office early today. Dressed in black, they used their bodies to represent the toxic tar sands oil that would likely spill over precious farmland and critical aquifers in the heart of our nation if the pipeline is built.
“Hundreds of Ohioans traveled to Washington, DC to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Now John Boehner is trying to push it through despite mass opposition from his constituents. I’m fed up with politicians doing the bidding of their corporate benefactors,” stated Casey Abernathy, a computer software engineer and member of Occupy Cincinnati.
Today’s rally is the latest in a 4-month national grassroots uprising in response to the proposed pipeline. The campaign kicked off in August with a two-week protest that resulted in more than 1,200 arrests. The most recent featured 12,000 people circling the White House which resulted in President Obama delaying his decision on the pipeline.
This event was created by Occupy Cincinnati, Energy Action Coalition, and 350.org. 350.org is an international grassroots climate campaign. “350” stands for 350 parts per million, the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Energy Action Coalition is the nation’s largest youth-led climate coalition.