The good news: We’re in Massachusetts, away from where Congressional Republicans are determined to stick their Keystone XL pipeline down America’s throat. The bad news: The environment knows no arbitrary state or municipal boundaries, and the earth is warming, the seas rising, the sky falling, etc.
In any case, there will be vigils will held across Massachusetts tonight (Tuesday 1.13.15) in protest of the nefarious corporate tar sands monster. Since there’s already plenty of destruction around here to picket, it’s always interesting when a mega national polluter is so evil that that they must be demonstrated against. So we did what we often do in these situations, and tossed some questions at Emily Kirkland of Better Future Project …
DB: Besides the obvious reason – that the environment is on the fritz and this is a ridiculous project, pollution, etc. – why should people in Mass care about the Keystone XL pipeline?
EK: If the tar sands are Mordor (and seriously, they look exactly like Mordor), then Keystone XL is the One Ring. If we can eliminate the Keystone XL pipeline proposal, we can put the brakes on the development of the tar sands — and if we allow Keystone XL to be built, then it will be hard to stop fossil fuel companies from fully exploiting the tar sands, which would be catastrophic for the climate. KXL isn’t the only climate fight, but it’s an important one.
DB: How good have our members of Congress from Mass been on these issues? Should we be showing up at their offices and telling them something, anything in particular?
EK: If anything, we should be thanking our congressional delegation for standing strong on Keystone XL. (If only President Obama would do the same!) The entire Massachusetts delegation in the House of Representatives voted “No” on the recent bill approving KXL, and Senators Warren and Markey have been steadfast in their opposition. Great video of Sen. Warren going after the pipeline on January 8:
DB: What can people in Mass do about an issue that is being fought in a state court elsewhere and in DC?
We need to show President Obama that the #NoKXL movement is stronger than ever. Join the vigils tomorrow! We also need to keep fighting here in MA: if KXL is built, nearly 20% of our oil could come from the tar sands by 2020. We’re calling for a clean fuels standard, a statewide policy that would effectively ban tar sands oil. Learn more and get involved!
DB: What are some relevant local environmental issues that again have to be put on the back burner to fight these massive national developments?
EK: Oh, man. Where do we even start? Stopping the Kinder Morgan fracked gas pipeline, stopping the Spectra fracked gas pipeline expansion, stopping the proposed Salem gas plant, divesting the state pension fund from fossil fuels, passing a carbon tax, investing in public transit, addressing serious environmental justice issues — this list goes on and on. We should be busy envisioning and building a clean energy economy, not fighting rearguard actions against the dirtiest fossil fuel on earth.
DB: What is the immediate future of protests against the Keystone XL Pipeline? In the streets? Online? In DC? Everywhere? All of the above?
It just depends what happens. Over the coming weeks, as we call on President Obama to go beyond his veto threat and reject the pipeline once and for all, we’ll be standing vigil and organizing in our communities. If the pipeline is approved, you can bet we’ll be in the streets, in MA, in DC, and everywhere. Stay tuned!
MORE INFO FROM BETTER FUTURE PROJECT:
Vigils Across the State to Protest Keystone XL Pipeline
As leaders in Washington, DC grapple over the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, Massachusetts residents are standing vigil to call for the rejection of the pipeline and a ban on tar sands oil.
The controversy over the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline heated up once again last week: the Nebraska Supreme Court issued a ruling that would allow the pipeline to go forward, and the House of Representatives passed a bill approving the pipeline, defying President Obama’s veto threat.
If the pipeline is approved, 18% of Massachusetts’ oil could come from the tar sands by 2020, according to a January 2014 report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Concerned citizens are calling for President Obama to reject the pipeline once and for all, and are calling on state leaders to ban tar sands oil here in Massachusetts.
Tuesday, January 13, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Coolidge Bridge, Bridge Street, Northampton
Tuesday, January 13, 6pm – 7pm
City Hall, 455 Main Street, Worcester
Tuesday, January 13, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Coolidge Corner, Harvard Ave & Beacon St, Brookline
Tuesday, January 13, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Harvard Square T Station, Harvard Square, Cambridge
Tue, January 13, 3:30pm – 4:30pm
First Congregational Church, 906 Main St (opposite Spring St), Williamstown
Tue, January 13, 6pm – 7pm
Newton Center, Beacon and Center Streets, Newton
Tue, January 13, 5:15pm – 6:15pm
Post Office Square, Sharon
Tue, January 13, 1pm – 2pm
Gay Head Gallery, 32 State Road, Aquinnah