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11/16/2012

Choosing Revolution: Time to Reject Tar Sands and Solve Climate Disruption


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On Sunday, November 18, I join 3,000 activists, Bill McKibben from 350.org, writer Naomi Klein, Oklahoma environmental leader Earl Hatley, and others for a march on the White House and a rally at Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, D.C. Our goal is open dialogue with President Obama and the American people on solving climate disruption and stopping tar sands and other extreme oil. We are asking for the President to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, but we also asking the President to embrace a positive, solution-oriented climate legacy.

Today we stand on the frontline of the fight to stop climate disruption. But I have some good news. We are also standing on the cusp of a clean energy revolution that will transform our nation, slash greenhouse gas pollution, and turn this climate disaster around.

It's not too late to prevent the worst consequences of climate disruption. We can and we will solve this, but it is urgent that we act right now.

A year ago, President Obama sent the Keystone XL pipeline back to the State Department for a new environmental review. The President put off deciding whether tar sands crude, and this tar sands pipeline, are in the interest of the American people.

We knew then that the pipeline was a very bad, very dangerous idea. But today, we understand that tar sands and Keystone XL is frontline in the fight to save the climate. The extreme weather of 2012 — a devastating nationwide drought and the Sandy superstorm — bring home the urgency of solving climate disruption.

The key to stopping extreme weather is stopping extreme oil… and getting fossil fuel extremists out of the way of our government, out of the way of clean energy solutions.

Tar sands is the dirtiest oil on Earth. We don't need it, we don't want it.

We're here today to support the President. To give him with the courage to stand up to the oil, coal and gas industries. Mr. President: Reject the Keystone XL pipeline and keep dangerous Canadian tar sands out of America.

It's the climate, stupid.

Today, with 350.org, the Sierra Club is announcing the beginning of a major climate agenda, leading up to rally in February — a President's Day march on Washington for Climate Solutions.

Mr. President, the tar sands are your climate legacy. It's what you do here that history will remember.

Solving climate disruption is must be one of our nation's top priorities, and those climate solutions will create the jobs we need, they will free our democracy from Big Oil and Big Coal's control.

No one should doubt for a second our ability to solve this problem.

The clean energy technologies we need to reverse climate disruption exist, they are affordable, and they are ready for primetime.

- We've doubled our wind power and we now generate five times more solar power than we did just a few years ago.

- That's explosive growth in renewable energy, but we haven't seen anything yet — renewables can power America and they can do it without greenhouse gases or any other kind of pollution.

We also need to use a lot less oil.

- President Obama's new car standards will double the efficiency of cars and light trucks, and slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. That's the single biggest step any nation has ever taken to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

There's one last piece of the climate solution puzzle — we need to get Big Oil and King Coal out of the way of climate solutions.

- It's time to break fossil fuel industry's stranglehold on Washington. We can build a secure, affordable energy future and solve climate disruption if we put people, not fossil fuel companies, back in charge of our democracy.

The frontline in the fight to stop climate disruption runs right through Freedom Plaza today, it runs around the White House, and up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capital. It hits every state, every home, every boardroom, every school, and every kitchen table in America. We need to make a choice right here, right now, about whether we will hand the keys to our nation to oil companies, or stand up and reject this ridiculous pipeline. Will America be the victim of climate disruption, or will we be the hero of a clean energy revolution? I choose the revolution.

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David Scott

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