Washington, DC – 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben issued the following response to the news that the State Department and Obama Administration will be delaying a decision on the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline:
“It’s as if our leaders simply don’t understand that climate change is happening in real time–that it would require strong, fast action to do anything about it. While we’re at it, the State Department should also request that physics delay heat-trapping operations for a while, and that the El Nino scheduled for later this spring be pushed back to after the midterms. One point is clear: without a broad and brave movement, DC would have permitted this dumb pipeline in 2011. So on we go.”
350.org Communications Director Jamie Henn added:
“It’s disappointing President Obama doesn’t have the courage to come out and reject Keystone XL right now, but this is clearly another win for pipeline opponents. We’re going to keep up the pressure on him to make the right call and continue to expand our broader fight against the fossil fuel industry. Big Oil has run Washington for far too long.”
Next week, 350.org will be joining with the Cowboy and Indian Alliance to host Reject and Protect, a week-long encampment on the National Mall to push President Obama to reject Keystone XL once and for all.
The encampment will feature 15 tipis and a covered wagon, and begins on Tuesday with a 40-person ceremonial horseback ride from the Capitol down the National Mall. Ranchers from Nebraska, tribal leaders from Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas, actor Daryl Hannah, the Indigo Girls, environmental and social justice leaders, and others will take part at the encampment over the week.
More than 5,000 people are expected to join the Cowboy and Indian Alliance for a ceremonial procession by the Capitol on Saturday, April 26. The CIA will finish the procession by delivering a tipi to the Museum of the American Indian in honor of President Obama as a symbol of their respect, and as a symbol of the tipis and other encampments they will erect along the pipeline route if Keystone XL is approved.