With a U.S. election just weeks away, opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline are urging citizens to take action.
Today, the campaign “Defend America, Stop Keystone Tour” released a PSA (Planetary Service Announcement) urging Americans to sign an Open Letter. It calls on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to withdraw their support for the controversial pipeline.
In Tuesday night’s debate, both candidates voiced their support for Keystone. Governor Romney said, “We’re going to bring that pipeline in from Canada.” President Obama responded: “We’ve built enough pipeline to wrap around the Earth once. So I’m all for pipelines.”
Although Obama has largely avoided making any concrete decisions on Keystone’s progress, observers say he has been waiting until the presidential election is over before taking an overt stance on the issue.
The PSA features actress/activist Daryl Hannah, who was recently arrested, along with Eleanor Fairchild, for halting the construction of Keystone XL on Fairchild’s east Texas farm. Following her release from the Wood County jail, Hannah stated, “In the U.S., we have a long history of non-violent civil disobedience, one of the primary tools used by citizens to stand up against injustice. When a law is unjust, sometimes as a last resort, the only option is to break it.”
Great-grandmother Eleanor Fairchild, whose land was seized by TransCanada through eminent domain, said, “I don’t think there is an even playing field for the American landowners and this Canadian tar sands pipeline company, TransCanada. Most people can’t fight these bullies. They push people around. They intimidate, threaten and scare people and they take what they want. It’s not right.”
“Failure to confront this transnational corporation is a failure to defend America,” said Tom Weis, President of Climate Crisis Solutions. “The American people are not going to stand for the corporate thuggery taking place in Texas. We call on both candidates to immediately withdraw their support for this economic, public health and national security threat.”
“TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline serves no legitimate public interest,” said signatory Ron Seifert, a Spokesperson for the Tar Sands Blockade, a separate but complimentary effort underway in Texas to non-violently halt the pipeline’s construction. “The way rural Texas families are being treated as collateral damage by both major presidential candidates is sickening.”
Other prominent signatories of the letter include Mariel Hemingway, Dr. James Hansen, Ed Begley, Jr., Bonnie Raitt, Lester Brown, Julia Butterfly Hill, Bill McKibben and race car driver LeiLani Munter.