President Obama came to Chicago yesterday to help raise money for Democratic Congressional candidates. Activists were there in force with signs and banners to show the President that those supporters who helped him win reelection in 2012 and who will support Democratic candidates in 2014 are strongly opposed to the Keystone XL.
A crowd of more than 200 people gathered across the street from the Chicago Hilton to call on President Obama to remember his commitment to investing in clean energy and making meaningful progress on climate change, and to remind him that approving the dirty and dangerous tar sands pipeline would violate that commitment.
Representatives from Sierra Club, Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, Sierra Student Coalition, 350.org, CREDO, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity and Chicago Youth Climate Coalition were in attendance, as well as other local organizations.
Activists were hopeful that the protest’s location and the fact that those involved were longtime Obama supporters would not be lost on the President as he continues to weigh his political options in approving or denying the tar sands pipeline.
“President Obama said that if Congress won’t act on climate change, he will. But we’re still waiting for him to back up his words with real action,” said Becky Bond, CREDO’s political director, emphasizing the significance of the protest. “It’s a very big deal that some of Obama’s strongest supporters in his hometown are coming out to protest their president—he needs to break out of his DC bubble, take notice and reject Keystone XL.”
“Activists from all over Chicago turned out today to demand that President Obama keep his climate promises. He can start by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and holding fossil fuel polluters accountable for their pollution through carbon pollution protections,” said Ryan Baker of Sierra Club Illinois Chapter. “It’s Chicago’s turn to remind the President that the country can’t afford a broken promise of climate leadership. We need to move away from tar sands and other fossil fuels, and forward on climate!”
The fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has energized millions and become a test of President Obama’s commitment to dealing with the climate crisis. For the past several months activists have met President Obama at nearly all of his public events and demanded that he keep his promises on climate and reject the permit for the pipeline.
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