47 More Arrested on Eve of Potential State Department Report
WASHINGTON, DC — Another 47 Americans were arrested at the White House today as part of an ongoing sit-in to pressure President Obama to stand up to Big Oil and deny the permit for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The total number of arrests is now at 322 people.
Today’s protestors held a banner at the White House fence that read “Keystone XL is ‘Game Over’ for Climate and Communities,” quoting NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen who said that the development of the Canadian tar sands would be essentially “game over” for the climate. Dr. Hansen plans to be arrested on Monday.
In many cases, indigenous peoples in Alberta are already a facing a “game over” situation for their communities, where tar sands development has destroyed the local environment and endangered public health.
This morning’s protest comes on the eve of the potential release of a new US State Department Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed pipeline. According to a piece in the Washington Post, the State Department is likely to release the report as early as Friday afternoon and say that the project will have “limited adverse environmental impacts.”
The Environmental Protection Agency has blasted the two previous State Department reports for lacking critical information about the environmental impacts of the pipeline. Concerns over the State Department’s objectivity have also surfaced. TransCanada, the company aiming to build the pipeline, has hired Paul Elliot, who worked as the national deputy director and chief of staff for delegate selection on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign for president.
Yesterday, the leaders of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the Rainforest Action Network made it clear they counted on President Obama to take decisive action to block the pipeline.