Green groups are calling on President Obama to make a choice: ‘Be remembered as a climate champion or the pipeline president.’
Parading a 100-yard inflatable pipeline outside the U.S. Capitol Tuesday afternoon, demonstrators are hoping to grab the president’s attention ahead of the annual State of the Union address.
Organized by groups including 350.org and Friends of the Earth, the demonstration is calling on Obama to renew the pledge he made last year when he said he would not approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline if it is found to “significantly exacerbate” carbon pollution.
“President Obama needs to decide whether he wants to be remembered as a climate champion or the pipeline president. He can’t have it both ways,” said Jason Kowalski, Policy Director for 350.org.
He has “all the information he needs to reject Keystone XL and he should do so in the State of the Union,” the groups added in a statement ahead of the action.
The demonstration comes within days of the anticipated release of the State Department’s Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the project, which Obama previously said he would look to for guidance on whether to permit the pipeline or not.
“Despite shoddy analysis by industry contractors working for the State Department, there is no doubt that approving Keystone XL would have a dramatic impact on the climate and should be rejected immediately by President Obama as not serving the national interest,” the groups continued, referencing a previously released draft of the SEIS which was condemned by both scientists and green groups as “deeply flawed.”
“The State of the Union would be an excellent time to reject the project and embrace a clean energy future,” they add.
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