We are holding a blogathon, coordinated with 350.org and around 16 other NGOs, in a campaign to encourage people to submit public comments opposing the Keystone XL pipeline during the National Interest Determination (NID) public comment period. This might be the last opportunity for the public to submit comments (depending on the legal limbo created by the recent court decision in a key Nebraska lawsuit).
Our guests for this blogathon include: Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, Van Jones, Bill McKibben and Jamie Henn (350.org), Winona LaDuke, Jane Kleeb (Bold Nebraska Executive Director) and Randy Thompson.
Our DK blogger guests include our wonderful, brilliant, and amazing TLO, rb137, john crapper, Aji, catilinus, A Siegel, James Wells and FishOutofWater.
We ask you to welcome two special guests who have not participated in our blogathons before.
We are so excited and honored to welcome Winona LaDuke to her first DK blogathon.
Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg who lives and works on the White Earth Reservations, and is the mother of three children. She is also the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, where she works on a national level to advocate, raise public support, and create funding for frontline native environmental groups.
In 1994, Winona was nominated by Time magazine as one of America's fifty most promising leaders under forty years of age. She has been awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 1996, the BIHA Community Service Award in 1997, the Ann Bancroft Award for Women's Leadership Fellowship, and the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project.
A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, Winona has written extensively on Native American and Environmental issues. She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and serves, as co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network, a North American and Pacific indigenous women's organization. In 1998, Ms. Magazine named her Woman of the Year for her work with Honor the Earth.
She has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. Author of now six books, including The Militarization of Indian Country (2011), Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming (2005), the non-fiction book All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999, South End Press), and a novel - Last Standing Woman (1997, Voyager Press).
Did you hear about the three Nebraska landowners who challenged state law transferring authority to approve the XL pipeline from the utility commission to the governor and state environmental regulators? The lawsuit where the court held the law is unconstitutional? At the very least, this means delay, or more time for activism, and it could delay President Obama's decision on the XL until after November. Randy Thompson is one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit. It is Bold Nebraska, who also partially funded this lawsuit, Native Americans, farmers and ranchers … people joining forces to fight XL hard for years that now leaves the XL in a kind of legal limbo. We are very honored and excited that Jane Kleeb and Randy Thompson could join us.
This public comment campaign is focused on the question that Secretary Kerry and then President Obama must answer in order to determine whether to approve or reject this XL pipeline. Approval of the pipeline requires a finding by President Obama that the XL pipeline is in our national interest. We have until March 7th to tell President Obama NO.
The State Department must consider our public comments before deciding what is in our national interest.
Public comments have already played a role in the XL pipeline process. "For the 2008 permit application, a final EIS was issued in August 2011, followed by a public review period. Largely in response to public comments and efforts by the state of Nebraska, the State Department determined that it needed to examine alternative pipeline routes that would avoid the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region of Nebraska, a sand dune formation with highly porous soil and shallow groundwater that recharges the Ogallala aquifer." In 2011, environmental issues identified in the Final EIS and stressed in public comments led to the State Department's decision to delay a determination on national interest until it had more information. Similarly, President Obama decided that more information was needed based on the NEPA public comment process:
Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.The comment period is open now until March 7th. Comments may be posted at this page established for NID comments. It's easy. Click onto the blue "comment now" box, and you will find an empty comment message box similar to when you post comments at DK. You can also post a comment by attaching a pdf file to the comment box.
It is important to remember that the civil comments we post at Daily Kos could be submitted as comments to the State Department. You do not need any special expertise or technological knowledge to post a comment. As one who has drafted and reviewed many comments submitted to federal agencies, the content of comments ranges from "Your plan sucks!" to "legal briefs" written by lawyers, complete with studies and exhibits. The length of comments varies too from one sentence to many pages. You can submit more than one comment. If your comment is long it might not fit in the comment message box. For long comments, it is best to (1) submit to this page established for NID comments by attaching your comment in a pdf file and (2) in the comment box, state that your comment is in the attached pdf file. For more tips on writing public comments, please see:
Please remember that comments are not private. "The comments will not be edited to remove identifying or contact information, and the State Department cautions against including any information that one does not want publicly disclosed."
Keystone XL Pipeline "Public Comments" Blogathon: March 3-7, 2014
Diary Schedule - All Times Pacific
The deadline for submission of comments is 11:59 pm on March 7, 2014.
This Daily Kos blogathon team is part of a coalition seeking public comments to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline. More details are in this diary posted on Monday, March 3 by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse - Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, Van Jones, Winona LaDuke in DK Blogathon XL Comment Campaign, .
Please tweet all diaries posted during the week, feel free to link to your Facebook pages, and remember to republish each diary to your DK Groups.
8:00 am: A Siegel.
11:00 am: Jane Fleming Kleeb, Executive Director of Bold Nebraska.
Our Daily Kos community organizers are Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, rb137, JekyllnHyde, citisven, peregrine kate, John Crapper, Aji, and Kitsap River, with Meteor Blades serving as the group's adviser.
Please republish these diaries to your Daily Kos Groups. You can also follow all postings by clicking this link for the Climate Change SOS Blogathon Group. Then, click 'Follow' and that will make all postings show up in 'My Stream' of your Daily Kos page.