January 31, 2014

With New KXL Review Expected, 350.org Turns Up the Heat on Pres. Obama To Reject Keystone XL

January 31, 2014
Contact: Jamie Henn, [email protected], 415-890-3350

Washington, DC — With the State Department expected to release its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the Keystone XL pipeline soon, the climate campaign 350.org is pledging to up the pressure on President Obama to do the right thing and reject the project.

“The State Department has given Obama all the room he needs to do what he promised in both campaigns: to take serious steps against global warming,” said Bill McKibben, 350.org co-founder. “He’s about the only person who hasn’t weighed in on Keystone XL; now we’ll see if he’s good for his word or if the fossil fuel industry is so strong they control even the president of the United States.”

While the oil industry and Canadian government are already out in the press trying to spin the FEIS as a blow to environmentalists, 350.org and  allies are confident that the report will give President Obama more than enough reasons to reject the project.

“The State Department process has been almost as dirty as the tar sands themselves. Conflicts of interest, industry contractors, shoddy analysis—there’s a reason top scientists and the Environmental Protection Agency have criticized the conclusions of previous reports,” said Jamie Henn, 350.org Strategy Director. “But even the industry contractors hired by the State Department won’t be able to cover up the fact that tar sands are a climate disaster. President Obama has all the information he needs to do the right thing and reject this pipeline.”

Over the coming 90 day period, as federal agencies review this assessment and undertake a national interest determination process, 350.org will be going all out to pressure President Obama to do the right thing-and show him that there will be serious consequences if he sides with Big Oil and approves Keystone XL.

“The release of the new report will be a green light to escalate our efforts,” said 350.org Executive Director May Boeve. “This fight intensified when 1,253 people got arrested in front of the White House. We expect many more people will take part in civil disobedience and take to the streets before this fight is over.”

Next Monday, 350.org will join with CREDO and other allies across the climate movement to organize hundreds of evening rallies across the country to show President Obama that they’re watching his next move.

In Washington, DC a team of local volunteers is standing at the ready to deploy a giant 300 yard long inflatable pipeline at key moments – the pipeline was on display outside Congress before the State of the Union. 350.org is also partnering with allies to prepare for more mass actions in Washington, DC, but is keeping plans under wraps for now. More than 80,000 people have signed up with allies like CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, and the Other 98% to commit civil disobedience if it looks like the pipeline will be approved. The organization’s online team is preparing to mount another massive push to drive comments into the State Department during the national interest determination period in the 90 days following the FEIS release.

“The fight against Keystone XL has put more people in the streets and sent more people to jail than any other environmental issue in a generation,” said Boeve. “We’re entering the fourth quarter with a sense of momentum and determination. We’re determined to win this thing and we’re willing to hit hard to do it.”