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Claire Morgenstern’s Blog

Get Up, Stand Up: NRDC Members and Activists Join Thousands in Largest Climate Rally Ever

Claire Morgenstern

Posted February 18, 2013 in Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming

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fwdonclimate2.JPGYesterday I joined NRDC staff and supporters — along with nearly 50,000 climate activists from across North America — in Washington, DC to express our collective opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. The event was, by all accounts, the largest climate demonstration in U.S. history.

“Largest” implies much more than numbers alone. It’s a testament to how passionately environmental advocates feel about this issue. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would bring a steady stream of filthy, corrosive tar sands oil straight through America’s heartland, export much of the oil it delivers, kill more jobs than it creates, tighten the oil industry's stranglehold on our economy, threaten our water supplies and raise our gas prices — all to deliver billions in profits straight into Big Oil's deep pockets.

NRDC’s Members and online activists understood this from the beginning. They saw right through the oil industry’s wildly exaggerated claims about the pipeline’s supposed job benefits and its resounding message that making us more dependent on filthy oil is good for national security — and they wasted no time getting into the trenches. They answered each and every one of our calls to action, urging their members of Congress to vote No on any bill that would fast-track approval of the pipeline and asking President Obama and Secretary Clinton to use their authority to do right by Americans and stop the Keystone XL.

And when we asked them to attend yesterday’s rally, they showed up. They showed up for NRDC and the environmental community. They showed up for every American who suffered the devastation of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, the wildfires in Colorado, the tornados in the South, the drought in the Midwest. They showed up for every parent who wants their children to grow up in a world with air that’s not filthy from power plant pollution, drinking water that’s not contaminated with undisclosed fracking chemicals, a home that’s not constantly threatened by extreme weather events, a backyard that doesn’t have a pipeline running through it. They showed up for all of us who think that before we call ourselves the greatest nation on Earth, then we, its citizens, need to treat the land on which our nation was built like we want to have a future here — even if some of those citizens happen to be employed by Big Oil.

The dedication of our Members and activists not only makes our work possible, it makes our work worth doing in the first place — and yesterday’s event was a powerful reminder of that. Thank you, NRDC supporters, for showing up, in every possible way.

Take Action Now: Urge President Obama to reject the Keystone XL and cut power plant pollution.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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