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People-Powered Testimony Against Keystone XL Tar Sands

Brad Johnson

Supported by hundreds of people who believe that the American people don’t need to destroy the planet in order to prosper, dozens spoke up against the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline at a State Department hearing today. Speakers concerned by the threat tar sands oil poses to our nation and our planet included priests and ministers, Obama campaign volunteers, and Nebraska ranchers.

In the video below, ThinkProgress Green excerpts statements from youth activists Ethan Nuss and Danielle Simms, indigenous leaders George Poitras and Debra White Plume, Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica, clean-tech investor Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson, and former pipeline inspector Mike Klink:


ETHAN NUSS: What we have here is a foreign company using foreign materials to pump foreign oil through America’s heartland.

BRIG. GEN. STEVEN ANDERSON (Ret.): This pipeline will set back the clock of 25 years of energy development in our nation.

MIKE KLINK: Maybe, just maybe, there won’t be 14 leaks in the first year, one of the worst pipeline disasters in history.

ERICH PICA: President Obama ran a campaign on trying to clean up Washington DC and cleaning up the lobby process. It is clear that this process is failing his promise, it is failing the American people, and it is failing the environment, and it is failing our need globally to fight climate change. This pipeline should and must be stopped.

GEORGE POITRAS: President Obama has a moral and ethical obligation to visit the tar sands, see the tar sands, to hear our people.

DANIELLE SIMMS: Either you will support the oligarchy and the oil industry, or you will stand with the American people, environmental and civil rights justice.

DEBRA WHITE PLUME: Our Lakota prophecy tells us, when mother earth cries we stand up or she will die and we will die. I ask everyone to remember: crying Earth, rise up. Rise up with Mother Earth and say no to this pipeline. No to death! No! No! No!

State Department officials Maryruth Coleman and Jim Steele heard the testimony without comment.

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