Cowboy Indian Alliance Sets Up Camp in DC, Says No Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
Today, the Cowboy Indian Alliance set up camp on the National Mall in Washington, DC with a ceremony, march with riders on horseback, and erection of a tipi on the mall—the beginning of a weeklong encampment and events calling on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and protect our lands, waters and climate. It was an honor to celebrate Earth Day by joining the march and bearing witness to the ceremonies and erection of the tipi.
Photo credits: Mike Hudema
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would bring 830,000 barrels per day of dangerous, dirty tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast from where most of it will be refined and exported. The tar sands cause more climate change pollution than conventionally produced fuels and are an environmental, public health, and human rights catastrophe where they are extracted, transported, and refined. Downstream from tar sands extraction sites in Alberta, people are experiencing high rates of rare cancers, which the Canadian government has tried to downplay – not surprising given the massive, leaching toxic waste lakes, several of which sit adjacent to the Athabasca River. Farmers, ranchers, tribes, and others along the pipeline route are at risk from pipeline spills, such as the million gallon Enbridge tar sands pipeline spill into the Kalamazoo River in 2010, which has cost more than $1 billion and is still not cleaned up, and the spill that sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of tar sands literally right across people’s yards in Mayflower, Arkansas. What’s more, many of the Gulf Coast refineries that would refine the tar sands that Keystone XL would transport are in regions that already are failing to meet air quality standards, causing a broad range of public health issues.
The State Department – in charge of making the decision about Keystone XL – announced last Friday that it would take more time to determine more about the potential route through Nebraska. Regardless of the route choice, the tar sands are too damaging to land, air, water and climate, so it’s important that we send a strong signal to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
You can visit the encampment on the National Mall between 9th St. and 12th St. any day this week. If you’re in Washington, DC or can make it here, please join the Cowboy Indian Alliance, NRDC, Sierra Club, 350.org, Bold Nebraska, and others this Saturday, April 26 at 11 am for the culminating ceremony, march, and presentation of a hand-painted tipi to the Museum of the American Indian. You can find the full details of the week here. And, if you can’t make it to Washington, DC, you can still virtually stand with us, and call on President Obama reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline at www.stoptar.org.
Assembling the tipi on the National Mall. Photo Credits: Mike Hudema
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