Updates: news releases and updates

Pipeline Protestors Greet Obama in Chicago

Posted Aug. 6, 2010 / Posted by: Kelly Trout

For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 5

Contact:
Debra Michaud, Rainforest Action Network Chicago, demonstration organizer (in Chicago), debramichaud73@gmail.com, 773-343-2939
Alex Moore, Friends of the Earth, pipeline campaign coordinator (in Washington, D.C.), amoore@foe.org, 202-222-0733

Pipeline Protestors Greet Obama in Chicago

Activists against piping dirty tar sands oil into U.S. ask Obama to reject pipeline

CHICAGO—Activists who oppose a controversial pipeline that would bring the world’s dirtiest oil to the U.S. demonstrated outside of a fundraising event attended by President Obama here today and called on the president to reject a permit to allow the project to move forward.

“This proposed pipeline—called the Keystone XL—would be dirty at both ends, poisoning indigenous communities near where tar sands oil is extracted, and dirtying the air families breathe in communities where the oil is refined. It could also spill, threatening those who live in the plains states that lie in its path,” said Alex Moore of Friends of the Earth.

“The Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf, the Big Branch coal disaster in West Virginia, and now this latest pipeline spill in Kalamazoo, Michigan, all demonstrate that fossil fuels are inherently dirty and dangerous. We need to transition to clean energy, not double down on these dirty energy sources of the past. President Obama can show leadership by rejecting this pipeline permit and supporting clean energy and conservation instead,” said Debra Michaud of Rainforest Action Network Chicago.

The demonstration today, which took place outside the Palmer House Hilton, was organized by Rainforest Action Network Chicago and Friends of the Earth. Demonstrators protested alongside a giant, oil-covered pelican. Earlier in the day, activists greeted President Obama with a banner over his Lake Shore Drive route that read: “Pres. Obama: Stop the Keystone Pipeline, Stop the Tar Sands.” The Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil from Canada’s tar sands (the world’s dirtiest) through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

More than 100,000 citizens have filed public comments in opposition to the pipeline with the U.S. State Department, and the Obama administration has received letters raising concerns about the project from 51 members of Congress, including Representatives Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky from Illinois.

President Obama has the power to stop the pipeline project by directing his administration to reject permits that would allow the project to move forward.

Photos from today’s demonstration and associated actions are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/foeaction/sets/72157624528639169/

More information about the pipeline and the threats it poses can be found here: www.foe.org/keystone-xl-pipeline

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Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) and our federation of grassroots groups in 77 countries are a force for the sustainable and fair use of the Earth’s resources. We’re progressives who confront economic factors fueling ecological destruction and injustice and who don’t shy from speaking sometimes uncomfortable truths to power. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.

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