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Momentum Builds for Forward on Climate Rally Against the Keystone XL Pipeline

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Contact: 
Eddie Scher, The Sierra Club, eddie.scher@sierraclub.org, 415-815-7027
Daniel Kessler, 350.org, dk@350.org, 510-501-1779

Momentum Builds for Forward on Climate Rally Against the Keystone XL Pipeline

OAKLAND, CA -- Encouraged by President Obama’s words on climate change at his inauguration and wowed by strong recruitment numbers, opponents of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline are
getting excited for the largest climate rally in US history: Forward on Climate, scheduled for Sunday, February 17 in Washington, DC. (1)

On Monday, at his inauguration, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to tackling the climate crisis: “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so
would betray our children and future generations.”  

In response, Bill McKibben, founder or 350.org, said: "We'll do all we can to help the president realize his goals, and trust he'll begin by blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, whose approval would
make a mockery of his rhetoric." 

Last week two new reports showed that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would damage the climate much more than previously thought. A Pembina analysis showed how Keystone XL is an integral part of the industry’s plan to nearly triple tar sands production by 2030 (2); and an Oil Change International report showed that proven tar sands reserves of Canada will yield roughly 5 billion tons of an oil processing byproduct, known as petcoke – enough to fully fuel 111 U.S. coal plants to 2050. (3)

A collection of the country's top climate scientists also sent the president a letter asking him to reject tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline. (4)

This Friday, in an unprecedented unified action among Indigenous Nations, farmers and ranchers,
and business and environmental leaders, attendees at the Protect the Sacred event in South Dakota will sign an International Treaty to block the Keystone XL pipeline. (5)

“Obama’s legacy as 44th President of the United States rests squarely on his leadership in the face of the climate crisis,” says Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “Only the
President of the United States has the power to lead an effort on the scale and with the urgency we need to phase out fossil fuels and go all in on clean, renewable energy sources. He can start immediately by rejecting the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline.”

The Forward on Climate rally comes as pressure mounts on the Administration to take strong climate action in the president’s second term. After a year of record heat and drought, calls for
action are coming from all over the country. Newspapers such as the New York Times and The Washington Post, and think tanks like the Center for American Progress, are making it plain that the president must act now to avert the worst of effects from global warming.

Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council: “The President has rightly called America to action against the climate chaos that is sweeping our nation and threatening our
future. Now, we’re looking forward to seeing the president’s words turned into action. He can do so by rejecting dirty fuels projects such as the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and by starting to cut carbon pollution from power plants that are major causes of climate destruction.”

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NOTES: 

1. forwardonclimate.com

2. www.pembina.org/pub/2407

3. http://priceofoil.org/2013/01/17/petroleum-coke-the-coal-hiding-in-the-tar-sands/

4. www.350.org/media

5. www.protectthesacred.org/

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