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Hours Left for KXL Public Comment

'We are fed up with the State Department’s conflict-ridden, Big Carbon influenced, Keystone XL consideration process'

- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

(Photo by Josh Lopez via Flickr / Tar Sands Action / Creative Commons License)With just hours left in the public comment period on the proposed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, green groups are calling on all concerned citizens to contact the Obama administration and make their opposition known.

"Right now we are in the middle of the last official public comment period for Keystone XL — one of the very last steps before President Obama makes his decision on the pipeline, and the final opportunity to give your input (in an official way)," writes 350.org on their website, which offers a one-step form to file a comment with the State Department.

"The State Department is accepting comments on the Final Environmental Impact Statement, and the last time State was accepting comments, we submitted over 1 million as a movement—let's see if we can beat that goal this time around," the group writes.

The 30-day public comment period ends on March 7th, at which point Obama will be open to make his final decision.

And on Thursday night, campaigners plan to submit those comments in a less formal way: projecting them on the outside walls of the State Department building.

Groups The Other 98%, 350.org, and the Light Brigade will use what they call “The Illuminator,” a large­-scale projector, to project comments asking the administration to say no to the pipeline and other anti-Keystone XL messages on the State Department building.

“We are fed up with the State Department’s conflict-ridden, Big Carbon influenced, Keystone XL consideration process," said Nicole Carty, actions coordinator for The Other 98%. "That’s why, with the help of ‘The Illuminator,’ we’re going to light up the State Department with the comments they’d prefer to ignore.”

A report released this week by The Carbon Tracker Initiative showed that the development of the Keystone XL pipeline would have far greater ramifications for the climate than was highlighted in the State Department's recently released final environmental impact analysis. President Obama has said he would approve the pipeline “only if this project doesn’t significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

On Sunday, hundreds of students were arrested in the largest single day of civil disobedience throughout the Keystone XL "saga," protest organizers said. Over 1,200 students conducted a mass sit-in in front of the White House, demanding the Obama administration reject the pipeline.

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