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On the president’s visit to San Francisco, a plea to stand up for future generations

Posted Apr. 3, 2013 / Posted by: Lisa Matthes

Friends of the Earth: Obama alone can kill the Keystone pipeline

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- President Obama arrives here Wednesday for a series of fundraisers. At 5:30 p.m., when he visits the Pacific Heights home of Ann and Gordon Getty, he will be met by hundreds of protesters calling on him to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry the dirtiest oil on Earth from the tar sands of Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

Among the protesters will be Ross Hammond, senior campaigner with Friends of the Earth, and his two sons, 6 and 10. Hammond explained why -- on his and his younger son’s birthday -- he is taking his children to the protest:

"President Obama promised at his second inauguration to take action on climate change, and that failure to do so would ‘betray our children and future generations,” said Hammond. “He has the opportunity to fulfill that promise to my sons and his daughters by canceling the dirty, dangerous Keystone pipeline once and for all.”

Hammond continued: “The State Department's handling of the environmental review process for the pipeline has been severely corrupted by the undue influence of TransCanada and the oil companies who stand to win big from this boondoggle. The president alone has the power to kill this destructive pipeline once and for all. We need him to stand up for our kids and the climate instead of giving another gift to the oil industry."

Friends of the Earth is deeply concerned with the State Department's cozy relationship with the companies that stand to gain the most if the pipeline is approved. These relationships first came to light in 2011 as a result of Friends of the Earth's Freedom of Information Act request that revealed high-level collusion between State Department officials and lobbyists for TransCanada, the company seeking approval of the pipeline.

In March, Mother Jones exposed the State Department’s attempt to cover up the financial ties between TransCanada and the firm hired to conduct the supplemental review, Environmental Resources Management. Today, DeSmogBlog.com reported that ERM, which has promised that Keystone will have minimal environmental impacts, approved a pipeline in Peru which has an appalling record of spills and explosions.

Contact: 
Ross Hammond, (415) 559-5082

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