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January 25, 2012

Calling Foul on Big Oil

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Hundreds of pairs of ears are still ringing from the sound of whistles blowing on the West Lawn of the Capitol yesterday afternoon, as protesters dressed as referees to call foul on the pipeline of money flowing between Big Oil and the halls of Congress. 

The Sierra Club joined 350.org, the Energy Action Coalition, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, in organizing the event, which lauded President Obama’s recent Keystone Pipeline decision, while demanding an end to the dirty influence of Big Oil money in government.

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Headlining the list of speakers were Senator Bernie Sanders (I – VT) (pictured above) and Representative Steve Cohen (D – TN), who both decried the political concessions bought by oil companies.  Said Sanders:

“We’ve got to end all of the tax breaks for the oil companies and coal companies and I’m going to introduce legislation to do just that.”

Cohen followed by adding:

“For too long, Big Oil has exercised far too much control in Washington.  It’s time for the people to stand up to their vaults of money and army of lobbyists and work to restore the government by the people, for the people.”

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The protest proceeded to march to the office of the American Petroleum Institute, throwing penalty flags and calling a “democratic foul.”  The whistles were loud and the message was clear: it is high time to take the Big Oil money out of the halls of Congress.

-- David Loss, Sierra Club Green Transportation Campaign. Photos by Sally McGuire

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