Led by the Sierra Club, 350.org, the National Resources Defense Council, the Waterkeeper Alliance, and other partners, an estimated 35,000 to 50,000 people gathered in Washington D. C. on the Sunday before Presidents Day for the Forward on Climate Rally to ask President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. This makes this rally to protect our water and our climate the largest climate rally the U.S. has known. See Amy Goodman's Democracy Now program on what Bill McKibben founder of 350.org; Van Jones, President Obama's green jobs advisor; indigenous leaders from Canada; and others had to say at the rally.
The Natural Resources Defense Council emphasizes that the Keystone XL pipeline would lock the U.S. into a long-term commitment to an energy infrastructure that relies on dirty oil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that Keystone XL would increase annual carbon emissions by the equivalent of having 6.2 million cars on the road for 50 years. The International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook estimates that Tar Sands production of 4.6 million barrels a day — far below the oil industry’s 2030 goal of 6 million barrels a day — will cause global temperature to rise by six degrees Celsius with catastrophic results. The World Energy Outlook states that "Globally, the oil industry as a whole is also lining up enough production capacity to cook the climate several times over."
Read the Natural Resources Defense Council's Report: "Why the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Is a Climate Catastrophe."
Not only does tar sands oil create over triple the carbon dioxide as light crude oil. In an article written after his arrest a few days before the climate rally, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., President of the Waterkeeper Alliance, objected to the pipeline because it will endanger water aquifers and surface waterways. Kennedy wrote,
The pipeline would cut through the heart of the Great Plains, land of more than 250,000 ranches and farms, putting our croplands and food producers at risk of oil spills across the American heartland. The route crosses the precious Ogallala Aquifer, where millions of Americans get their drinking water. Further, Keystone XL would cross more than 1,500 waterways, from the Yellowstone River in Montana to Pine Island Bayou in Texas."
Read his article: "Why I Got Arrested at the White House to Stop the Tar Sands.