Faith Leaders Call on President Obama to Halt Keystone XL South One Week Before Start-Up
Today, citizens marked the eighty-fifth birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. by risking arrest to stop the scheduled Jan. 22 start-up of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Texas and Oklahoma. They are calling on President Obama to exercise his executive powers to permanently shut the pipeline down, starting with ordering the Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration to re-inspect the pipeline's anomaly-plagued 485-mile southern leg.
"That pipe is in there illegally," said Texas landowner Michael Bishop, who has sued the US Army Corps for granting TransCanada permits to build Keystone XL on his land without public hearings or water impact studies, as required by law. "If a burglar is in your home, they can't argue they have a right to be there. Yet President Obama approved and promoted this Keystone XL pipeline that has destroyed my property and the future of my children and grandchildren."
"I ask President Obama to immediately shut this pipeline down," said Texas farmer Julia Trigg Crawford, who has mounted a legal challenge against TransCanada's abuse of eminent domain that is being considered by the Texas Supreme Court. "He can start by ordering that every mile of this anomaly-plagued pipeline be retested and dug up if necessary. The risks are too great to allow Keystone XL to threaten our homes with toxic tar sands."
"President Obama knows we just passed the grim milestone of 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, yet he approved this tar sands pipeline that would make the climate crisis worse," said Tom Weis, president of Climate Crisis Solutions. "This isn't climate leadership, this is madness." Weis was in the first wave of 1,253 activists arrested outside the White House during a 2011 protest against Keystone XL, spending two nights in a DC cellblock with Bill McKibben and 63 others.
"Caring for God's creation means having the moral conviction to defend the Earth and future generations when they are threatened," said Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network. "Today we ask President Obama to show moral courage and live the faith he often talks about by using his executive powers to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Texas and Oklahoma."
"The president has a clear moral obligation to stop Keystone XL's southern leg," said Ted Glick of Interfaith Moral Action on Climate. "Only days remain for him to extinguish this 485-mile fuse to one of the biggest carbon bombs on Earth."
The 485-mile southern leg of TransCanada's Cushing, OK to Port Arthur, TX Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has been completed, is being filled and is scheduled to start up on Jan. 22. Landowners in Texas and Oklahoma have reported TransCanada patrol planes flying up and down the line in Texas and Oklahoma, with foot patrols searching for leaks.
This emergency direct action is part of IMAC's second annual Pray-In for the Climate and is endorsed by Texas landowners Julia Trigg Crawford, Michael Bishop and Eleanor Fairchild, along with Bill McKibben, Ed Begley, Jr. and others.
People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>