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Thousands Surround White House In Protest Against Tar Sands Pipeline

Tar Sands Action, White House

As many as 12,000 protestors surrounded the White House last Sunday in an attempt to convince President Obama to put a stop to the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline project. The protest, formed through weeks of planning, was the biggest one yet in regards to the pipeline.

Bill McKibbenThe pipeline would transport crude oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada across the American heartland. According to protest organizer Bill McKibben, “That is the second biggest pool of carbon on the planet. If the US government goes ahead and makes it easier to develop that oil-sands project, then there is no credible way to insist that they’re working hard on climate change.”

The best part? Obama was out golfing for the day. That’ll show ‘em.

The due date for any pipeline decisions was set to be the end of the year, but recently it has grown to be a defining issue for the Obama administration. Some groups have even warned Obama he may lose their vote in the 2012 elections if he doesn’t put a stop to the pipeline.

All this controversy could cause Obama to wait until after the election to make any announcement, especially with legal challenges getting in the way. Nebraska legislators are considering implementing five bills to re-route the pipeline away from aquifers and private land.

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On the flip side, TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, says the thousands of temporary construction jobs it would make available would be a beneficial and extremely necessary boost to the economy. “After the Washington protesters fly back home they will forget about the millions of Americans who can’t find work,” said spokesman James Millar.

Do you think the short-term jobs it will make available will compensate for the potential environmental damage Keystone will cause?

Images CC licensed by tarsandsaction
Feature photo by Clayton Conn; Lower photos by Emma Cassidy

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