35,000 March on White House, Demand Obama Block Keystone XL Pipeline

Billed as the largest climate rally in history by 350.org and the Sierra Club who both sponsored the event, tens of thousands marched on the White House in Washington DC to demand that president Obama not approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Michael Brune, the director of the Sierra Club told the crowd, “Obama holds in his hand a pen and the power to deliver on his promise of hope for our children. Today we are asking him to use that pen to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and ensure that this dirty, dangerous, export pipeline will never be built.”

Rallies and protests have taken place across the country in an attempt to sway the president’s decision. But much has not been made about the fact that the Keystone Pipeline already runs through a huge portion of the United States. In July 2010, the country’s largest inland oil spill took place when tar sands crude spewed into a Kalamazoo River tributary from a burst section of Enbridge pipeline. It is uncertain when that spill will finally be cleaned up – or if it ever will.

Although most of the recent media attention has gone to the president making his decision on the northern section of the pipeline that has yet to be approved, he has given his blessing to the southern tier of the project which is currently under construction. That construction is meeting fierce  meeting resistance from groups like the Tar Sands Blockade and many Texas landowners.

The president is due to make his decision on the northern section of the pipeline within the next few months. But whatever he decides, the reality is that the Keystone Pipeline already runs through the United States and its current expansion to allow even more Tar Sands crude to be pumped through it, will forge ahead in the south regardless of what Obama does.