Sep 16 Press Release

September 16, 2011

Protest Against Keystone XL Pipeline Spreads Across North America

WASHINGTON, DC — The fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has become the marquee environmental bout of the 2012 election season, with serious implications for President Obama’s campaign and the future of the North American environmental movement.

The proposed 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline would carry dirty, tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. A rupture in the pipeline could cause a BP style oil spill in America’s heartland, over the source of fresh drinking water for 20 million people. NASA’s top climate scientist says that fully developing the tar sands in Canada would mean “essentially game over” for the climate.

After a historic two-weeks sit-in at the White House this August that led to the arrest of 1,252 Americans and Canadians, the group behind the protests, Tar Sands Action, is now taking its fight against Keystone XL nationwide.

Keeping up the Pressure on President Obama

Campaign volunteers (many of whom were arrested at the White House themselves) have organized demonstrations at every one of President Obama’s public events this September, as well as confronted Obama campaign director Jim Messina and Vice-President Joe Biden. These events will continue throughout the fall: wherever the President goes, the pipeline protestors will be there.

Groups of 20-50 volunteers around the country are also visiting Obama for America campaign offices to tell staffers that while they supported the President in 2008, they will only volunteer or donate during this election cycle of President Obama stands up to Big Oil and denies the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

State Department Hearings

From September 26-30, the State Deparment will host public comment hearings in pipeline states. Tar Sands Action will be working to support our in-state allies to drive turn-out to the hearings.

The largest and most dynamic hearings are expected to be the September 27 hearing in Lincoln, Nebraska and the September 28 hearing in Austin, Texas.

On October 7, the State Department will host a final public hearing at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Tar Sands Action allies, including the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the Energy Action Coalition, will be turning out a large crowd of pipeline protesters to the meeting.

Mass Mobilization and Civil Disobedience

Tar Sands Action will continue to keep the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline in the spotlight through a variety of high profile actions this fall.

On September 24, our allies at are coordinating an international day of action, Moving Planet, focused on the need to move away from fossil fuels. Thousands of events are planned in over 150 countries around the world. For more information, please click here.

On September 26, our allies in Canada are organizing a sit-in in Ottawa with hundreds of people risking arrest to pressure the Canadian government to shut down the tar sands and stop pushing the Keystone XL pipeline. For more information, please click here.

Additional mobilizations and events are also planned for the United States. For more information about events in the United States, please stay tuned to this website or join our email list. To be added to our press list, please email Daniel Kessler:


The Tar Sands Action team is available to speak about the Keystone XL fight or connect interested press with spokespeople across the United States and Canada. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.


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