350.org Reaction to State Department Inspector General Report on KXL

For Immediate Release

350.org Reaction to State Department Inspector General Report on KXL

This Sunday, nearly 1,000 youth will protest outside Secretary Kerry’s house in Washington before risking arrest in a sit-in at the White House

WASHINGTON - Pipeline opponents are pledging to turn up the heat on Secretary Kerry in reaction to the State Department’s Inspector General report. The report confirms that the State Department knowingly hired a tar sands industry contractor to assess the Keystone XL pipeline's environmental impact, but deems such dirty dealings business as usual.

“The real scandal in Washington is how much is legal,” said 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben. “This process has stunk start to finish. It’s good that its now in the hands of the Secretary Kerry and President Obama so there’s at least an outside chance of a decision not based on cronyism.”

“Far from exonerating the State Department of wrongdoing, the Inspector General report simply concludes that such dirty dealings are business as usual,” said 350.org Policy Director Jason Kowalski. “While allowing a member of the American Petroleum Institute to review a tar sands oil pipeline may technically be legal, it’s by no means responsible. Secretary Kerry and President Obama can let their climate legacies be tarred by this dirty process or they can do the right thing and reject the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all.”

This Sunday, nearly 1,000 young people will rally outside of Secretary Kerry’s house in Washington with a banner that reads “Secretary Kerry: Don’t Tar Your Climate Legacy,” before marching to the White House, where at least 300 youth are expected to risk arrest in an act of civil disobedience.

Secretary Kerry had a long record as a climate champion as a Senator from Massachusetts and recently called climate disruption the world’s most dangerous weapon of mass destruction. He has yet to express a position on the Keystone XL pipeline.

More information about the XL Dissent weekend of action can be found below.

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XL Dissent Events: 

Saturday, March 1

Location: Thurgood Marshall Center, 1816 12th St NW, Washington, DC

12:00-4:00pm: Fossil Fuel Divestment Meetup

Hundreds of students from across the country will come together to share strategies and tactics for the growing fossil fuel divestment movement that has spread to over 300 colleges and universities.

5:00pm-9:00pm: Nonviolent Direct Action Training (closed to press)

Students will take part in a NVDA training to prepare for Sunday’s sit-in at the White House.

Sunday, March 2
Location: Georgetown University to Lafayette Park & White House

10:00am: Rally at Georgetown University’s Red Square to kick-off the day’s events

10:20-11:30am: March from Georgetown to Lafayette Park

The march will begin at Georgetown University, head East on O St, South on Wisconsin, East on M St., East on Penn, and East on H St. to Lafayette Park.

10:30am: Rally Outside Secretary of State John Kerry’s House

Youth will rally outside Sec. Kerry’s house on O St. with a banner that reads “Sec. Kerry: Don’t Tar Your Legacy” to push him to recommend that President Obama reject the pipeline.

11:30am-12:15pm: Rally at Lafayette Park

Speakers will include youth leaders and representatives from communities that would be impacted by the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as those on the frontlines of other dirty energy developments and the climate crisis.

12:15pm-1:00pm: White House Sit-in
At least 300 youth are expected to risk arrest in sit-in on the sidewalk in front of the White House fence.

Student Spokespeople:

Nick Stracco, Tulane University

Nick is a senior at Tulane University and is originally from Chicago, Illinois. He’s been a climate activist for the last 3 years and hopes to be an environmental educator (and continue his activism) after college.

Miles Goodrich, Bowdoin College

Miles is a junior at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and is originally from Connecticut. He wants to become an environmental activist and strategist.

Aly Johnson-Kurts, Smith College

Aly is a would-be sophomore at Smith College who is taking a year off to fight the climate crisis as the State Divestment Organizer for 350Vermont. She is studying to be an ecological economist. Aly was born and raised in Vermont.

Maria Langholz, Macalester College

Maria is a senior at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Maria grew up in Wisconsin and hopes to work at a hospital system in Minnesota doing sustainability work after graduation.

Ori Gutin, University of Maryland

Ori is a sophomore at University of Maryland and was born in the state. He wants to be an environmental educator after graduation.

Michael Greenberg, Columbia University

Michael is a sophomore at Columbia University, has interned with organizations like 350.org and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and founded Tar Sands Students.

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350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

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