From Liz Schmitt, Creation Care organizer at Sojourners:
Just in case you missed the news, last night Mary Landrieu’s bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline came up one vote short of passing. For me, this was a joyous end to an eventful day. My day included meetings with new partners on fossil fuel divestment, then a meeting with other faith leaders at the EPA where we hand delivered Sojourners’ 3500 comments on the Clean Power Plan to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and discussed carbon regulations, [environmental justice] considerations, and an upcoming methane rule in a very candid conversation with her. And then at 6 in the evening, the Senate rejected the pipeline.
Right after Senator Warren announced the vote results, one of our friends from the Rosebud Sioux nation (which lies in the pipeline’s proposed path) broke out into Dakota/Lakota song from the Senate gallery. My sentiments exactly.
The fight continues, because Mitch McConnell took the floor a few minutes after to assure everyone that Keystone will be one of the first bills introduced in the next Congress. But for now, the pipeline is shelved again.–Liz Schmitt
THIS JUST IN: Greg Gray Cloud, cofounder of Wica Agli, member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and a prominent anti-Keystone activist. confirms, “yes that was me who sang the honor song in the [senate] gallery.” Thank you, Greg! Read more here.
Thanks to all who sent notes to the Senate in the 24-hour blitz to stop the Keystone XL pipeline from rising, zombie-like, from the dead. More than 800,000 messages went to the Senate over 24 hours, which is really impressive. Here’s a last image that you should take a moment to savor, showing our messages walking into the Senate on Valentine’s Day. This put a big smile on my face:
“The last 24 hours were the most concentrated blitz of environmental organizing since the start of the digital age,” explained McKibben. “Over 800,000 Americans made it clear that Keystone XL is the environmental litmus test for Senators and every other politician in the country. It’s the one issue where people have come out in large numbers to put their bodies on the line, and online too: the largest civil disobedience action on any issue in 30 years, and now the most concentrated burst of environmental advocacy perhaps since the battles over flooding the Grand Canyon ….”
Senate Republicans tried to saddle the transportation bill with an amendment that would reverse President Obama’s decision to block the controversial pipeline project. The Senate will begin wrasslin’ the transportation bill today.
Right now, the Senate is considering legislation to resurrect Keystone XL, overriding President Obama’s rejection of the pipeline, and greenlighting construction of this disasterous project. The grassroots movement against Big Oil interests have put together a massive response to show them that approving Keystone is unacceptable.
Goal: 500,000 messages to the Senate in 24 hours to demand they stop the pipeline. Why: The Keystone XL pipeline is made to carry a climate-killing brand of uber-oil that will dump 3x more CO2 into the atmosphere than we’re already dealing with. How: Instead of “boots on the ground” this time, we are calling for an avalanche of e-notes to the Senate reminding them who they work for.
What’s the best Valentine’s Day card a planet could hope for? Defeating the Keystone XL pipeline … in the State Department, in the Senate, and any place else it pokes up its little head.
Sen. Whitehouse,a leading member of the Senate bi-partisan subcommittee on Intelligence, has read many of the classified reports on U.S. torture – and he is very, very disturbed.
Without compromising classified data, he clearly points to a widespread torture cancer that has spread through the military intelligence apparatus.
Here’s a six minute video (May 22, 2009) of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (Dem-R.I.) addressing Robert Litt and Stephen Preston, the two nominees for the position of General Counsel to the Central Intelligence Agency.