UPDATE: Sen. Reid Says Keystone XL Legislation is Dead on Arrival

News — the tar sands action team December 9, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

After Tar Sands Action supporters sent 4500 messages to their Senators in under 24 hours, Sen. Harry Reid has just announced that legislation to force approval of Keystone XL will be dead on arrival in the Senate:

Here is Reid’s comment: “If the House sends us their bill with Keystone in it, they are just wasting valuable time because it will not pass the Senate.”

After an incredible grassroots led effort to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, on November 11th President Obama rejected a flawed, corrupt and incomplete environmental impact review process led by the State Department, and sent the entire project back for a full re-review, including an assessment of the pipeline’s impact on climate change.

In response, Big Oil’s represenatives in Congress put together legislation designed to force approval of the pipeline, and attached it to must-pass legislation supported by the President. Reid’s comment shows that this tactic will fail.

The continued backlash against legislative attempts to rush approval of the pipeline shows that the movement against the tar sands and fossil fuel extraction will continue to grow and exercise power.

To send a message to your Senator encouraging them to stand strong on Keystone XL, click here: http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/2133/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6875


Tar Sands Action Movement Continues in Atlanta

News — the tar sands action team December 7, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

This post was written by Brandon Sutton, who hosted a Movement Strategy Session in Atlanta, GA

On Wednesday November 30, a group of 14 engaged environmental champions gathered in Atlanta to discuss the future of the Tar Sands Action movement and our ideas for moving ahead. Several concerned citizens joined with people from the Sierra Club, the Citizens Climate Lobby, the US Green Building Council, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, and MARTA for the meeting, as well as a great grandmother that is concerned about the world that is being left for her great grandchildren. This broad support says something to me about the state of the movement and the potential to rally people around big, urgent issues we face in our country and around the world.

We discussed the initial victory in the Keystone XL battle, but took a cautiously optimistic stance due to the tendency for these things to be repackaged and resubmitted once people stop paying attention. Recent events in Congress make it more clear than ever that we cannot rest on this issue and we must keep up the pressure in order to permanently kill the plans to build Keystone XL.

There were two parts to our discussion on plans moving forward: local initiatives that we could impact and also major paradigm shifting ideas that are on the horizon that we could champion as a collective national group.


Tomorrow: Top Tar Sands Lobbyist Visits the White House

News — the tar sands action team December 6, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

Tomorrow one of the top lobbyists for the the Keystone XL oil pipeline will be meeting President Barack Obama in the White House.

This particular lobbyist gets special access for one reason only: because he also happens to be the Prime Minister of Canada.
Prime Minister Harper will technically be in town for a “state visit”, but we know from multiple sources that Keystone XL and the tar sands will be high on his agenda when he meets Obama.1

So we’re mobilizing to greet Prime Minister Harper just as we would any other lobbyist for dirty oil: with a fired up crowd, chants, banners, and a crystal-clear message
. Which is to say: a BIG rally is planned at the Canadian Embassy Wednesday at 10:30 to 11:30 am, and you should come join the fun.

Harper has a big say in the long term future of the tar sands, and it’s critical that we send him a message that we will continue to work to stop Keystone XL and any other tar sands project. Can you make it tomorrow?

Here are the details:

What: Rally to Greet Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
When: Wednedsay December 7th 10:30-11:30 AM
Where: Canadian Embassy, 501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Click here to get more info and RSVP on Facebook


US Tribal Leaders Present President Obama with Mother Earth Accord Opposing Keystone XL

News — the tar sands action team @ 2:55 pm

Rosebud Sioux Nation President Rodney Bordeaux

US and Canadian Indigenous Peoples United To Stop Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

Monday, December 5, 2011

Washington DC-A delegation of US Tribal leaders gathered together in Washington DC, during the third annual White House Tribal Leaders Summit to call on President Obama to reject a presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The leaders presented President Obama with the “Mother Earth Accord” that outlines unique US Tribal and First Nations concerns over Keystone XL, Alberta Tar Sands, the heavy haul in Idaho and Montana, and presented a copy of the Academy Award Nominated Documentary film called “Pipe Dreams”

The 1,700-mile proposed Transcanada Keystone XL pipeline has been mired in controversy since its inception and poses a significant threat to tribal water quality, public health, and cultural heritage in both the United States and Canada.  In Alberta, extraction of tar sands oil has already been linked to a 30% elevated rate of rare cancers and autoimmune diseases in First Nations communities downstream from the project.

President Steele of Oglala Sioux Nation stated, “I will stand against the Keystone XL pipeline as long as it threatens to contaminate the Mni Wiconi water pipeline and threatens the clean drinking water and health of the Oglala people.


Strategy Session Debrief Notes

News — the tar sands action team @ 12:45 pm

Last night hundreds of us joined a national conference call to debrief what was discussed in our movement strategy sessions last week. We couldn’t get a recording of the call, but we did take notes. Here’s what was discussed:

Thanks to Zack Malitz for taking very detailed notes


Tonight! Movement Strategy Sessions Debrief

News — the tar sands action team December 5, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

Friends –

We tried something new this past week.

For the first time ever, we had a nationwide brainstorm — a collaborative “movement strategy session” to chart the path ahead. Thousands of people have contributed ideas, either online or in person, and now we’re bringing it back together.

Tonight, we’re inviting you to a call with Bill McKibben to go over the best ideas that have bubbled up from the grassroots. We have lots to discuss, so I hope you’ll join us — all you need is a web connection and an open mind.

Here are details for the call:

What: Movement Strategy Sessions Debrief Call

When: Monday December 5th, 9 PM Eastern Time

To join: Call (712) 432-1001, and enter the access code 485501597#

On the web: There is a chat box on our website so that everyone can discuss what’s happening on the call without talking over each other: http://www.tarsandsaction.org/strategy-chat/


Getting back in gear – Big oil fights back with back room deals to pass Keystone XL

News — the tar sands action team @ 4:51 pm

Dear Gang,

Well, our temporary delay of the Keystone Pipeline may be even more temporary than we’d hoped.

In the last few days a team of industry-funded Senators and Congressmen have introduced bills designed to force almost immediate approval of Keystone XL. Hence this long letter—please take the time to read it with care.

Several bills have been introduced. The most dangerous would force the president to give a permit within months, long before anyone could credibly conduct the promised review of climate impacts. We won the first round in public, and so Big Oil is using the money-filled back rooms of DC to try to win round two.

So I fear we have to ask yet more of you. The key to stopping these bills will be in the Senate. A few of you live in key states – including Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia—where your Senator could have a big say on these bills. These proposals are attached to the President’s tax cut legislation which will get an up-or-down vote in less than two weeks, so we need to act fast to get them to stand up to big oil and stop this backroom deal.


Movement Strategy Session Debrief Call: Tonight!

News — the tar sands action team @ 2:33 pm

Tonight we’ll be meeting back up to debrief what was discussed during the movement strategy sessions last week. Here is information about the call:

What: Climate Movement Strategy Sessions Debrief Call
When: Monday December 5th, 9 PM Eastern Time
To join: Call (712) 432-1001, and enter the access code 485501597#

Talk soon!


BC First Nations Unite to Declare Province-Wide Opposition to Crude Oil Pipeline and Tanker Expansion

News — the tar sands action team @ 2:01 pm

VANCOUVER, COAST SALISH TERRITORIES, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Dec 01, 2011 — First Nations, whose unceded territory encompasses the entire coastline of British Columbia, have formed a united front, banning all exports of tar sands crude oil through their territories, and effectively all of BC – whether by Enbridge in the north or Kinder-Morgan in the south.

Several new First Nations signed the Save the Fraser Declaration in a Vancouver ceremony, expanding First Nations opposition in western Canada to more than 130 Nations. These First Nations form an unbroken wall of opposition from the U.S. border to the Arctic Ocean. This is the first time that First Nations have come together publicly to declare a ban on oil tankers and pipelines on both the north and south coasts.

“North or south, it makes no difference. First Nations from every corner of BC are saying absolutely no tar sands pipelines or tankers in our territories,” said Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation, a member of the Yinka Dene Alliance. “We have banned oil pipelines and tankers using our laws, and we will defend our decision using all the means at our disposal.”


Indigenous Leaders Will Hand Obama Emergency Mother Earth Accord, Say Face To Face No Keystone XL

News — the tar sands action team November 30, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

2011-11-30-ShutDowntheTarSands.jpgPhoto credit: Shadia Fayne Wood
In the ongoing fight to keep tarsands oil in the ground, no group has been more vocal, more consistent, and more effective than native and indigenous groups on both sides of the border.

When I think back on the year’s campaign — which has at least temporarily halted construction of the pipeline — many of the faces I see in my mind’s eye come from native communities: Melina Laboucan-Massimo in tears describing the death of family and friends from the strange cancers now common across the tarsands territory, or Gitz Crazyboy showing pictures of the wrecked landscape where he grew up. The Indigenous Environmental Network, small and underfunded, was just as key in this fight as the biggest of the Washington green groups.


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