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I am posting this diary on behalf of Bill McKibben, the President and Co-Founder of 350.org.  One of the leading environmental activists and authors in the world, Mr. McKibben is also the Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he directs the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism. John Crapper
Sometime late this afternoon, the final batch of more than two million public comments opposing the Keystone XL pipeline will be delivered to the State Department. Even before this latest round of testimony began, KXL had generated more public comments than any infrastructure project in history. It had produced more emails to the Senate in a single day than any subject ever. It had sent more people to jail for peaceful civil disobedience than any issue in a generation.

     

The plan’s opponents, in other words, have done what democracy demands. They’ve researched the project with diligence, they’ve connected across lines of class and race and geography and generation, they’ve raised up voices heard too little in our society (indigenous people, farmers and ranchers, communities on the front lines of the oil industry’s pillage). They’ve written songs and poems, spoken from head and heart.

The pipeline’s proponents, meanwhile, have done what Washington seemed to demand in recent years: hired political players as lobbyists, drenched DC in campaign contributions, and filled the air with absurd commercials. They’ve corrupted the official review process: twice the State Department chose cronies of Transcanada to examine the company’s pipeline proposal. In the past week, an important Reuters investigation found that they overestimated by a factor of five how much oil would travel by rail instead of pipeline, and an even more important study by a Deutschebank analyst showed that they’d underestimated by orders of magnitude how much carbon the pipeline would help liberate—that in fact it would be the equivalent of building 46 new coal-fired power plants.

In these final days of the Keystone contest, it’s a question of which of these models of citizenship will prevail, big democracy or big money. And John Kerry and Barack Obama will get to decide. Each have engaged in occasional flights of climate rhetoric—most recently Kerry called global warming the planet’s “most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” which is in fact exactly correct.  But courage flags when confronted by money—as the American Petroleum Institute’s head pointed out in the early days of this fight, the president must approve it or face “huge political consequences.” And he has the cash to make good his threat.

So now we’ll find out. The people’s movement will continue—there are thousands pledged to conduct more civil disobedience, there are petitions and letters yet to be written, there are songs still to be sung. But the gist of the public comment by now is clear; what’s still murky are the private thoughts in the heads and hearts of our leaders.




 

Keystone XL Pipeline "Public Comments" Blogathon: March 3-7, 2014






The public comment period for the National Interest Determination ends on March 7, 2014. We have a coalition seeking public comments to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline.

You can write your own comment to post at regulations.gov. Or, you can copy from one of the comment templates available from the list below. It's preferrable to tweak the template a little with your own words so that it does not resemble a boilerplate comment.





Let your voice be heard by opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline.  
The deadline for submission of comments is 11:59 pm on March 7, 2014.

350.org
Bold Nebraska
Center for Biological Diversity
CCAN or Chesapeake Climate Action Network

CREDO
Energy Action Coalition
Environmental Action
Friends of the Earth
League of Conservation Voters
Moms Clean Air Force
Montana Environmental Information Center
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Northern Plains Resource
Oil Change International
Rainforest Action Network
Sierra Club


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.

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:01 PM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, Seattle & Puget Sound Kos, and Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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