Protesting The Pipeline - Wikipediaby Brooke Jarvis, YES! magazine: http://www.yesmagazine.org
In the latest act of what has become a long political saga, Senate Republicans are trying to bypass the permitting process altogether and pass a law mandating the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from the Canadian tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.
But you’ve likely heard about this already, thanks to a major mobilization of more than 35 organizations working together to oppose the proposed law. A coalition of environmental, tribal, and other groups launched an effort to get 500,000 people to contact their senators within 24 hours.
Seven hours in, with the help of bloggers, celebrities, and vibrant networks on social media, the petition had already passed the half a million mark [update: more than 800,000 people ended up voicing their opposition within the 24-hour window].
That volume of response illustrates the passion that Keystone XL now excites among opponents and supporters alike. But it wasn’t always this way. A year ago, few people had even heard of the pipeline (there weren’t enough searches for “Keystone XL” in February 2011 to register on Google Trends) and those who did know about the project considered approval a foregone conclusion.
What a difference a year makes. Climate activists, residents along the proposed pipeline route (particularly in Nebraska, where concern about damage to the Ogallala Aquifer and the Sandhills is strong), indigenous tribes, and other opponents refused to let the pipeline be silently approved.
“We’re pretty sure that without serious pressure the Keystone Pipeline will get its permit from Washington,” Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Wes Jackson, Wendell Berry, and others warned in an open letter last June. And so began months of sustained activism, from a two-week sit-in that prompted more than 1,200 arrests in August to a November rally that encircled the White House.
To read further, go to: http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/brooke-jarvis/tapping-a-pipeline-of-grassroots-energy?utm_source=wkly20120217&utm_medium=yesemail&utm_campaign=mrJarvis