A massive group of protesters against the Keystone XL Pipeline gathered outside the National Mall on Sunday, urging President Obama to take environmentally responsible action toward addressing climate change.
There were an estimated 40,000 protesters from 30 states, organized by groups such as 350.org and the Sierra Club. Organizers are calling it one of the biggest climate rallies in history, protesting everything from fracking, to fossil fuels, to the Keystone XL pipeline.
“This movement’s been building a long time,” said bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. “One of the things that’s built it is everybody’s desire to give the president the support he needs to block this Keystone pipeline.”
The biggest concern was related to whether Obama will approve construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast. The president has yet to outline any concrete plans for the pipeline or any other environmental plans, so protesters are eager to hear some solid plans go into play after his mentions in the State of the Union address.
“I think we’ve got a president who, because he has kids, perhaps, or because he’s not facing reelection, is willing to get some things done,” said Public Citizen president Robert Weismann. “It’s a pretty big shift from October.”
I think we can all agree on that statement, seeing how Obama has made sure to mention climate change in nearly all of his big speeches since October. If anything, a protest like this will show him that he has a huge public backing in favor of making environmentally responsible decisions, and that citizens are more than ready to hold him accountable for whatever he decides to do, or not do.
Image CC licensed by Josh Mogerman: Climate rally in Washington DC