Food and Technology Blog

800,000+ strong against the Keystone XL pipeline

Posted Feb. 16, 2012 / Posted by: Kim Huynh

Wow. In 24 hours, the environmental movement and our progressive allies came together to send a huge, jarring wake-up call to senators wavering in the face of Big Oil’s threats and campaign coffers: reject any attempts to revive the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline—or face hundreds of thousands of people ready to hold you accountable.

On Tuesday afternoon, our broad coalition delivered more than 802,000 messages to the Senate, including more than 15,000 from Friends of the Earth activists. We started our blitz with a goal of sending 500,000 messages in 24 hours, yet we smashed through that goal in just under 7 hours.

Our fast and furious organizing has mustered one of the most concentrated bursts of environmental advocacy online this millennia. At the beginning of last week, the oil industry and its bought-and-paid-for confederates in Congress were confident that a Senate vote on Keystone XL was inevitable, lobbying hard to tighten the screws on the remaining senators they needed to greenlight construction of the pipeline.   

Now, 800,000+ messages later, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York—once a KXL fence-sitter and one of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate—has pledged to work with Senate leadership against Congressional gimmicks to resurrect the pipeline. And our 24-hour ‘petition bomb’ has already helped stiffen the spine of President Obama, too.

On Tuesday evening, his administration issued a threat to veto the House's transportation package, citing the harmful Keystone XL provision and other anti-environment measures tacked onto the bill. Now, a vote on the project is likely to be delayed another week and a half. To quote our good friends at CREDO Action, this is why activism matters.

Still, Big Oil-backed senators remain eager to latch mandates for Keystone XL onto just about every piece of legislation that comes across their desk. On Monday, senators with close ties to Big Oil showed their cards, filing an amendment to a transportation bill that would force through approval of Keystone XL.

So, as has been the case with this fight from the beginning, we’re not letting up or backing down. We’re going to continue to work with our #noKXL coalition to generate calls into Senate offices and to make sure senators get the message loud and clear that we need a safe climate and clean water, not more dirty tar sands oil.

Take action: help us make Senate phones ring off the hook.

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