The tar sands campaign continues to be one of our most robust areas of work in our fight against climate change. We don’t want to jinx it, but we expect a full rejection of Keystone XL by President Obama before the end of the year.

So where do we go after Keystone? While we have been fighting all tar sands infrastructure — including other tar sands pipelines like Enbridge, Energy East and Alberta Clipper — for some time now, we will broaden our campaign narrative to encompass all fossil fuels. There are so many existing local fights to stop fossil fuel infrastructure, so we will draw attention to and connect these local fights to create a national campaign called “Keep it in the Ground.”  

About 50% of the carbon underneath U.S. soil is on public lands and waters, and it’s estimated to be about 450 gigatons in total – essentially enough to get us past 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise on its own. Our Keep it in the Ground campaign will pressure President Obama, who has pledged to address climate change before the end of his presidency, to issue an executive order that ends fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters. This is something that President Obama could do with the stroke of his pen without congressional approval.

In collaboration with our grassroots partners, we will unify diverse iconic fights like drilling in the Arctic, drilling on public lands in the US, present tar sands infrastructure, and fracking to draw attention to the broader message of Keep it in the Ground. We will be there in force to rally at Obama events across the country, and use the spotlight of the 2016 elections to bring “Keep it in the Ground” asks into the national narrative.

Likewise, our goal in California in the fracking fight will be to define climate leadership as keeping fossil fuels in the ground. We will push Governor Jerry Brown of California to bring a clear mandate from his state to the UN climate negotiations in Paris — to end extraction and make good on his promise to continue to lead California to be the strongest state on climate change. Our communications and media push to elevate the stories from impacted community members in Kern, County, California will include another mini-documentary to be released on November 1st.

The Keep it in the Ground campaign won’t be limited to the U.S. In Canada, is playing a core role organizing mobilizations and building political power for a national tar sands  moratorium. We continue to work with the nearly 100 partners who helped us plan the 10,000-strong March for Jobs, Justice & the Climate this July in Toronto. A top priority is to support partners fighting infrastructure projects — especially frontline and Indigenous communities — with financial support, trainings, extra organizing capacity, and communications support to amplify their message.

We will highlight the impact of all tar sands projects through media and online messaging, strategy sessions, direct actions, and bird-dogging Canadian public officials. We will use a Keystone win to push back against all other tar sands infrastructure, including the Alberta Clipper and the Enbridge system through the Midwest. During the campaign, we will continue the long-term work of developing strong solutions.

With Canada’s federal election on October 19, 2015, we are publicizing Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s climate record and the economic impacts of his tar sands push. Post-election, we will hold elected candidates accountable to their promises to reject and revoke the permits for the Northern Gateway pipeline and to overhaul the National Energy Board review to include climate change considerations – a victory that was won through work that helped lead in the Energy East campaign. After the Canadian elections, we will organize a major action in Ottawa to elevate the campaign.

With the price of oil so low and resistance against tar sands at an all-time high, we have an amazing opportunity to stop tar sands expansion entirely and draw attention to the need to halt all fossil fuel expansion through the Keep it in the Ground campaign. Thank you for your partnership to help make this happen!