Sorry for the double post:
The next critical phase of our fight against Keystone XL is here. Here's what will be a long - but I hope useful - update that I'd like to share with you, the folks who led this campaign as part of the Tar Sands Action, about where we're at.
Your work stopped TransCanada in its tracks - and forced them to take drastic measures to try to get the pipeline built. They broke the pipeline in two - getting fast-track approval for the southern leg through Oklahoma and Texas, and forcing a re-review of the northern half.
The fight you started last summer is continuing, and on more fronts than ever.
There is a budding resistance movement developing along the Southern pipeline route that is stepping up to use direct action to stop the pipeline.
The Tar Sands Blockade is leading the way -- when TransCanada begins construction they'll be met by a coalition of landowners, Tea Party types and environmentalists engaging in non-violent resistance to stop the pipeline. It's critical that we support these efforts, both for their own sake, and to show our leaders that they can expect serious backlash whenever they build dirty tar spewing pipelines from now on. Click here to join the Tar Sands Blockade: tarsandsblockade.org/join-us/
As construction begins on the Southern leg of the pipeline, the State Department is re-starting its environmental review of the northern leg of the pipeline, putting us on track for an early 2013 decision on whether to move forward with the critical northern link to the tar sands.
We need to show, once again, the connection between Keystone XL, the tar sands, and climate change. Extreme weather is the most important story of 2012 so far, and connecting this pipeline to the incredible devastation caused by runaway climate change gives us an incredibly powerful tool to keep this thing bottled up.
Last year, thanks to your pressure, President Obama said that he would consider the climate impacts of the tar sands when considering approval of Keystone. Right now, The US State Department is deciding how they will review the pipeline, and it's not clear that they will examine climate change. Yesterday, 10 of the nation's top climate scientists sent a letter to State insisting that climate impacts be included in the review of Keystone XL. Can you join them and make sure that the State Department knows that climate change is not in our national interest, and must be considered as part of the Keystone XL review?
Click here to send a message to the State Department: act.350.org/letter/keystone-state-climate/
Also, we need to make this a fight about the toxicity of the tar sands themselves. The federal government just released their report about the largest tar sands spill to date, which took place in Michigan in 2010, and it showed that the industry is failing to protect people, land and water along the pipeline routes. The tar sands are an inherently corrosive, toxic product, and should not be allowed in anyone's back yard.
We're continuing the broader fight against tar sands oil by coordinating with folks across New England who are working to stop a proposal to move tar sands oil through an aging natural gas pipeline, for export to the Atlantic. It's the same kind of pipeline, and pipeline company, that spilled millions of gallons of tar sands oil in Michigan two years ago, which is why we're supporting a day of solidarity actions on July 25th, the anniversary of the spill, called We Are the Kalamazoo. Several dozen events are planned along pipeline routes across the country -- click here to join one near you: tarsandsfreene.org/find-events
The fossil fuel industry's role in wrecking the planet and our democracy could become a defining issue this fall. People are waking up to the impacts of climate change. And they're getting mad about the fact that we're paying for the damage by subsidizing the very industry that is responsible for the wild weather. If we can keep organizing around climate change and extreme weather to show that there is enormous political opportunity in standing up to stop the tar sands, we'll be much closer to stopping Keystone.
There are already dozens of visits to campaign events planned to put members of Congress on the stop for their stances on fossil fuel subsidies (it would be great if you could join - click here to sign up act.350.org/signup/heat-subsidies/).
Also the spark you helped set last fall has ignited a string of exciting civil disobedience actions this summer. There is a whole summer of bold action planned - a Summer of Solidarity - spanning from West Virginia to Montana to New York, where folks are standing up to stop dangerous fossil fuel projects. Click here to find out more about what is planned this summer: summerofsolidarity.tumblr.com
So, that's the big picture. The last year or so has been a wild ride for this movement, and your work to stop Keystone has been one of the highlights, showing what we can do with focus, some courage and a lot of people. I am eager to see what we will do together next.