We have a moral obligation to ensure for a clean and safe planet for future generations. It is that simple, and it is why the Hip Hop Caucus rejects the proposed plans for the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
The Hip Hop Caucus has joined with 350.org, one of the most dynamic and efficacious climate movement organizations in existence today, and the Sierra Club, the oldest and largest environmental organization in the country, to co-convene the largest climate rally in U.S. history – Forward On Climate on Sunday, February 17, 2013. Over 80 organizations have partnered on this effort, and as a result of so many different groups and people coming together, the climate movement has never been so energized and mobilized.
The stakes are so very high. With so many people in the streets marching, with so many people on social media discussing and sharing information, and with so many diverse leaders and celebrities speaking out and standing up, President Obama truly has a serious decision in front of him. He can either reject the pipeline and stand with the people for a sustainable future for our planet, or he can approve the pipeline to please big oil companies who have spent over $150 million to promote this pipeline project.
I know there are those within President Obama’s fine Administration who are wondering why there are so many people making such a big deal about ‘this one pipeline project.’ The status-quo folks inside Washington, DC do not agree with the line in the sand that the movement has drawn. The line in the sand being that either President Obama is really about a sustainable future for this planet and the health of our people (if he rejects this pipeline project), or instead, he cannot overcome the incredible power of corporate oil interests on our political process (if he approves this pipeline project). This Keystone XL decision is a true litmus test.
The status-quo folks inside Washington, on the left and the right, would rather just give the oil lobby the decision they want on this pipeline, and have the movement look the other way.
I could not be prouder of the leadership of our fellow Forward On Climate Rally co-conveners 350.org and the Sierra Club, and all the partners listed here, for rising above the powerful culture in Washington, DC, where all are encouraged and incentivized not to demand what is right for the people, but to demand what is convenient for the politicians.
The thousands, upon thousands of people who are coming on buses from across the country this Sunday, February 17, sacrificing time, money and energy to march in the streets, are coming to demand what is right. It is surely not convenient for them to travel hours and hours so that they can march in the cold of February and then turn back around and ride home, facing a full workweek ahead. The climate movement is so energized right now because we are standing up for what is right, not what is easy, not what is politically expedient.
This is a courageous moment for our movement, which in turn demands courage from for our President. I believe President Obama is a courageous leader who will make the right decision by rejecting the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline project, and when he does, the people who elected him for a second term - the young, the old, the working class, the middle class, the beautiful Black, Brown, Asian, White, and American Indian people of this country - will have his back.
Join us this Sunday, February 17! #ForwardOnClimate.