Oil pipeline protest coming to San Francisco


Forward on Climate, an event billed as the largest climate rally in history, will have a presence in San Francisco on Feb. 17. With most activity centered in Washington, D.C., organizers of the nationwide mobilization hope to convince President Barack Obama to reject the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, an extension of a tar-sand oil pipeline that connects Alberta, Canada and multiple Midwest cities.

In San Francisco, protesters plan to surround the U.S. State Department building at One Market Plaza to demonstrate opposition the pipeline project. "Since the pipeline crosses the international boundary with Canada, the State Department has to approve the permit, so symbolically that's why we chose it," explained Taylor Hawke of 350 Bay Area.

More than 70 organizations are partnering to promote the event, including 350.org, the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defense Council, CREDO Action and others. Sup. John Avalos will join student groups, indigenous organization Idle No More, and others in speaking at the rally. Organizers expect a turnout of more than 2,000 with participants traveling to San Francisco from Chico, Sacramento, Santa Cruz and University of California campuses at Davis and Merced.

Jessica Dervin-Ackerman of 350 Bay Area says activists “intend to send a strong message to President Obama that immediate action is needed to stop climate disruption and to protect current and future generations,” and that “the U.S. needs to be an international leader in the diplomacy of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.” A recent HSBC report underscored the role of national governments in fighting climate change, noting that 90 percent of the world’s oil and gas is held by governments or state-owned oil companies.

Some climate activists aren’t waiting until Feb. 17 to get their message across. Protestors from 350.org and the Sierra Club, along with many other organizations, sat outside the gates of the White House Feb. 13 in an act of civil disobedience meant to raise awareness about the Keystone XL pipeline extension. Many were arrested, including actress Daryl Hannah, and released the following day.

Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, touched on Obama’s apparent contradiction on climate change in a recent Rolling Stones article. While the President has made promises to work on wind and solar energy, McKibben said, he’s also emphasized a goal of “producing more oil and gas here at home." The pipeline would financially benefit the Canadian government, which is anxious to export its most lucrative commodity. The tar sands in Alberta contain as much as 240 gigatons of carbon, representing half the amount carbon scientists say can be “safely” burned by 2050.

Big oil companies stand to lose the most if the Forward on Climate movement succeeds. Oil reserves represent corporate assets that lay buried underground, and that’s where organizations like 350.org want them to stay. "The key to everything is this," Hawke said: "From the latest science, we now know that the climate crisis is the greatest moral issue of our time."

TransCanada, the pipeline developer, claims the project would provide tens of thousands of jobs, but the U.S. State Department estimates that it would be closer to five or six thousand temporary construction jobs. A more sustainable approach, says Frances Aubrey of 350.org, would be to create new jobs by investing in renewable energy. The only ones who will benefit from fossil fuels, she added, are the oil companies and the politicians whose campaigns they fund. “Oil companies are willing to change the planet beyond what people can survive,” says Aubrey, “to make a profit.”


Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

or didn't you get that memo?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 4:33 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

believe in creationism (maybe you still do.) If this were 1813, you would believe in the inherent inferiority of African slaves and Native American "savages" (maybe you still do.) If this were 1713, you would believe in blood letting as curative (maybe you still do.) If this were 1613, you would believe that the earth is flat (maybe you still do.)

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

You're losing it, Eddie.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 7:59 am

Climate change deniers follow in a long tradition of belief in mythology.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 8:16 am

There are climate deniers and there are people who maybe wouldn't deny it, but are asleep. So it has always been, and so it still is...Someone has to be on the front lines of any change/realization, and i guess that's what we are...but in this case time is of the essence, so that much more important to show up and wake people up....

Let the deniers deny...it just makes our responsibility that much more urgent. Eventually, we'll do the right thing as a people, but eventually in this case needs to come fast.

See you tomorrow at the rally. Send a message to Obama, y'all. He WANTS us to be there. It's up to us.

Clean energy provides jobs, too, and ones we can all be proud of. Not complicated, to me, anyway.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 9:15 am

Most Americans do not believe it

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 9:26 am

"Most Americans" never "see" what's right until they are MADE to see (the light) by those of us who have. Otherwise, it wouldn't be called change....

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 9:39 am

just do your own research on fracking and its inherent dangers...it's all out there. It's just common sense to invest in clean technology, as opposed to doing a violent process to mother earth that pollutes the territories it's in.

Enough w/ the raping of the land so that these oil companies can feed their profit habit at the expense of progress in the form of clean energy.

There are better, newer alternatives that must be pushed, NOW, already. And it is the responsibility of those of us who have done the reading & research to bring out this message...it's a credo, really: we want to live in harmony with the Earth, not destroy it.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 10:03 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 10:49 am

okeydockey. enjoy your sunday.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

"Someone has to be on the front lines of any change/realization, and i guess that's what we are..."

Delusional. Arrogant. Self-serving. Just a few of the things that came to mind when I read this.

You stupid hippies ARE aware that there are ways to bring about awareness that don't result in slowing the rest of the city down for your little protest, right?

Posted by Mister_Raccoon on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

Are you feeling annoyed because you don't respect the values behind "our little protest"?

Well, your feelings might get more mileage if you didn't feel the need to insult ("stupid hippies") and be dismissive ("your little protest").

And you did not sway me as to why some people catching on to a new perspective before others do is "Delusional. Arrogant. Self-serving." It's just reality. Time will tell, won't it?

But you can be dismissive if you wanna be. Naysayers don't usually get in the way of progress, but it's a free country.
As for "slowing down the city", I don't think there was much to be slowed down on a Sunday, at the foot of Market street. You WERE aware that it is Sunday, and the protest took place at the foot of Market, right? ;)

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

"...but it's a free country."

No, it's not Daniele and you should know better. There are countless articles---google it!---about the encroaching police state in this country. I don't know where you've been to not know this! But considering your other comments on this thread, I suppose your remark should be expected.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 19, 2013 @ 12:43 am

i don't make overreaching generalized statements like you do. (But I guess we both did: if I say it is a free country and you say it's not). Yes I do know about the encroaching police state. I was someone who was manhandled by one said policeman for nothing other than being somewhere where i was exercising my right to assemble. But we stood our ground and in the end, they let us be.

So yes, I see your point, and don't like what I see. I am aware of it. But you know what trumps that? The power we all have to embody a vision that works for everyone. The power in numbers that we do have to stand our ground.

Which is why I was there on Sunday doing my part, and which is why I was there a year or two ago the first time we stood for the environment the last time Obama was in town at the W Hotel.

Your statement of "it's not a free country", though I believe it comes from a concerned, well-meaning, outraged place, does not serve. It is erroneous, despite the symptoms that we see of it. I still maintain it is a free country, but a free country is an active verb--it's not passive. I think it is important to use words properly because words are powerful. Therefore, I will not succumb to your statement. And I hope you now understand where I am coming from. It is indeed a free country if we exercise that muscle that allows it to remain so.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 19, 2013 @ 10:09 am

Yes, we now have the freedom to be targeted for murder (O's "kill list"), the freedom to be spied on (warrantless surveillance), and the freedom to be indefinitely detained without trial in a military prison until we croak. God bless America!


Posted by Guest on Feb. 19, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

I like what Chris Hedges had to say about this and other matters relating to the corporate takeover of our democracy~

"It’s all a part of this very rapid descent into a frightening form of corporate totalitarianism. And that is just writ large across the landscape. And as we go down—and they know we’re going down. Look, I mean, you know, they—these forces are cannibalistic. Forty percent of the summer Arctic sea ice melts, and here we’re literally watching the death throes of the planet, and these corporations, like Shell, look at it as a business opportunity. They know only one word, and that’s "more." They have commodified everything. Human beings are commodities, disposable commodities. The ecosystem is a disposable commodity. And they will—now with no impediments, they will push and push and push. It makes Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, which I’m just re-reading, the most prescient study of the American character, because we’re all on the Pequod, and Ahab’s running the ship. And as Ahab said, "My means and my methods are sane, and my object is mad." And they’re not going to stop themselves. The formal mechanisms of power are not going to stop them. It’s up to us.

"And literally, you know, I have a five-year-old, and his favorite book is Out of the Blue. He’ll sit on the floor and look at narwhals and porpoises, and every time I see him do it, it rips my heart out, because I know that if there is not a radical change in our relationship to each other and to the planet, every single one of those sea creatures will be dead within his lifetime. In theological terms, as a seminary graduate, these are forces of death, literally."


Posted by Gramsci on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

Time for a war of position.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

We would all be living in mud huts down by the river.

Posted by matlock on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 10:36 am
Posted by Eddie on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 10:41 am

US society is splitting up among the haves and have-nots at one of the fastest paces ever seen in human history. After hundreds of thousands of families lost virtually everything when the housing market imploded in 2007 - but not before the smart money sold off near the top of the market - a few hundred Blackstone and other investors have recently bought up tens of thousands of CA housing units on the cheap, receiving a nice rental income stream and lucrative tax breaks in the process. When they start reselling the houses back to the general public we'll know another real estate peak is near, and another batch of new "owners" can piss away their long-saved downpayments when the market implodes again.

The next wave of progressivism is learning to live in tents on the street either until the government clears out the speculators from the real estate market for good, or until hundreds of thousands are living on the streets and they can just waltz into the government offices and take over the rule-making process.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

Hey not so loud. The impending homeless takeover is supposed to stay on the downlow for another couple years.

Posted by pete moss on Feb. 19, 2013 @ 4:59 am

Hi Pete, I was slow to check back on your response, so I'll post again here and hope we make contact. I would love to participate in the group. Thanks for being willing to vouch for me. My old U.S. Messenger # was 2041 -- when Paul and Valerie dispatched there. I am not on Facebook, but wanting to touch base with people in that group might just break my resolve never to give up my information to Facebook's maw! Would you want to meet up sometime for coffee? Sally

Posted by voltairesmistress on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

that uses his campaign slogan and trademark graphic design. He's not afraid of the mainstream environmental organizations and will approve the pipeline. The real opposition is the direct actions in Texas and Oklahoma, not the scripted arrests in DC.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

otherwise I agree with you, Eddie. the campaign slogan an design is tacky.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

Actions that confirm that enviros are weak by promoting images of weak enviros are not better than no action which leaves the question hanging.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 18, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

And I have another question for you, Marcos. You appear to be saying that any opposition to the K-xl pipeline means ignoring other environmental issues just as crucial. But how does organizing around this issue prevent activists from speaking out against other issues, like our oil dependency in general. Or does it serve to highlight it? Do tell us... What could be more crucial than global warming? Obviously, the pipeline will accelerate that process. So what do you propose, Marcos? Do nothing?

Posted by Yinka Dene on Feb. 19, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

He's an armchair warrior.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 19, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

We should not do what has proven to not work and do what little has been proven to work and seek new tactics that might work.

It is apparent that the self selected enviro "leaders" have skillsets that get their organizations funded but do not have traction with the general enviro friendly population or, more importantly, the killer instinct required to play for keeps.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

No, opposing KXL is a good thing. Raising the stakes and writing a check that can't be covered by the organizing capacity and willingness is where the weakness comes in.

How about we pick fights that we might have a chance of winning because we bring huge numbers and political power to the table instead of going to a preemptive war with the army we have that is not suited to the task at hand.

Top-down declared actions and priorities only have a chance if they happen to track popular support instead of just echoing non-popular activist priorities.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

It is a political decision that KXL has become the gold standard for enviros, as it all but gives a pass to all of the other environmental crap Obama slings our way. So much of this is about the progressive luminary circus animals being up on stage parading before the faithful.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

A good overview on Keystone w/ labor + environmental perspectives: http://kalw.org/post/today-your-call-will-obama-administration-approve-o...
I favor the environmental perspective as it understands the need for jobs--just sustainable ones. But I wonder where the initiatives are for cleaner energy. I mean big projects. Wouldn't it be nice to have a WPA-like initiative like we had during the depression.

You know the song "It Had to Be You?" Well, I guess it had to be something--may as well be Keystone caught in the crosshairs of a shifting tide.

I believe in will. Willingness to change course. Willingness to try something new that is/will be sustainable. We're at a crossroads and it really does become about how well the environmental movement gets its message across and how fast. Consciousness has to preceed willingness.

And as far as all other forms of environmental crap, this radio program touches on some. So let the education begin, and let the forces for living in harmony with the earth prevail. And let there be jobs from the clean energy industry.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

Danielle, nobody supports the tar sands or the pipeline. My question is, given the range of Obama's enviro transgressions, deepwater drilling post-BP, more nukes, mountaintop removal, I can't see how KXL rates when destroying Appalachia, for instance, does not rate. If anything, MR is worse than KXL because the temperate mountains harbor greater biodiversity than the boreal forests.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

it all rates....
i don't think it's a small thing when the president mentions that it's time to change course in his state-of-the-union and inaugural speech...
so yeah, he's been guilty of some lousy environmental policies. but now it seems he's willing to change course. Changing course has to start sometime, and his words signal that willingness.

So I'm willing to go with that signal and capitalize on it. What else can one do? One can be cynical, but that's a cop-out.

So there's really nothing more to say than that the movement needs to heat up. And I'll do my part.

Keystone is new. It's imminent. That's why it's a legitimate focus. Of course we have to speak on all the rest, but you have to have a rallying point so it makes sense on that level. People are too busy to inform themselves on every environmental disaster in the making, but they will become more aware as the movement (hopefully) grows.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 21, 2013 @ 11:01 am

Obama has already said in so many words "make me do it"...It is simple: if enough people stand up to the muck (ie the dirty energy), he'll ax the project. the key is are enough people awake, and willing to take the time to show up for their kids and grandkids...maybe they're too busy buying the latest gadget to care.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

"Obama has already said in so many words "make me do it"...It is simple: if enough people stand up to the muck (ie the dirty energy), he'll ax the project."

Oh jesus fuking christ. Sigh. Ugh. I swear! What gullible people! [scream] That is one of the most delusional and wishful-thinking comments I have read in some time, but it is most typical of (gullible) Obama-bots and their mentality. To be begin with, don't even get me started on that "make me do it" bull shit.

I agree with Eddie (up above). Eddie, what was that quote you wrote from Rahm Emanuel---whom I can't stand by the way---where he described "liberals." It's the only thing I've agreed with that Rahm Emanuel on and I think his statement most definitely applies here.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

Rahm Emanuel: Liberals are "fucking retarded."

Benjamin Emanuel (Rahm's father): “Obviously, he’ll influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to be mopping floors at the White House.”

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

Yeah that's it. Thank you.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

Obama will shove this and Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP or "NAFTA on steroids"), etc., down our throats, no matter how many people show up to "make him do it" or not do it. He couldn't give a flying f**k what you or "We the People" think. It's time you hopey-changey Obama-bots figured that out.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

listen, dude, i don't care what you think Obama will or won't do. I'm just focused on bringing attention to this dirty form of energy that is an assault to us all. like most good causes, it'll take the time it'll take for the masses to wake up. and i'm not an obama-bot. Didn't even vote for him the first time around, and almost didn't vote for him the second time around, so don't make knee-jerk assumptions.

go ahead with your violent metaphors...they won't/don't make a difference for those who hear the call first.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

I'm not the Guest you responded to, but feel the need to respond to you.

You told Guest to "calm down / have some faith" and then you proceed to blow a gasket. That was interesting to watch.

Have some faith? In whom? The tooth fairy? Santa Claus? A corporatist politician to the right of Bush and you're going on about having some "faith" in him? That must be some good, strong stuff! As for myself, I prefer to use REASON over 'faith' especially as an atheist. As for the masses, they are a lost cause. They are not paying attention to things that matter. Ask them about J. Bieber and they can tell you the last time he went to the bathroom. You'd likely get a blank stare from the masses if you spoke the words, "Keystone XL Pipeline" to them. Clueless. They would likely respond, "um, um, I'm whatever." You voted for Obama for his second term---the "almost didn't vote for him" doesn't count for anything---so you are complicit and an enabler in what he has done and what he will do and you're part of the problem. Because if one had removed the denial, delusions, illusions, "faith," hope and all that other wishful-thinking bull shit, one would have know where he was going in a second term....father to the right. It didn't require a crystal ball to figure that out based on his first term. I don't know what it is about people who want so much to believe in this man. He really casts a spell on people, as if he's their deity. Sigh.

Oh and by the way, I saw no "violent metaphor" in the other post. Grip.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 11:40 pm

first of all, no gasket was blown. you may have added an imagined tone to my words that did not exist, but that is the nature of email.

you misunderstand me. i wasn't saying have faith in obama, i was saying have faith in the power of people to make a difference. i already observed how obama did reflect the concerns of the occupy movement in his articulation of the 1% paying their fair share. he doesn't move as fast as progressives would like him to move, but so be it.

you say the masses aren't paying attention...well you are right but they will pay more and more attention in direct proportion to how many people decide to show up tomorrow and beyond when it comes to the health of the environment. that's how it works, it's not rocket science.

i had my own reasons to not vote for jill stein at the last minute. i know obama is cautious and slow, but i also believe he wants to be more progressive than he is, he just wants to have that flank be more vocal than it is and he has said as much--i'm not making that up.

so i am playing my part by being an active citizen, which is all i can do. i don't have time to argue about being complicit or not being complicit in what this president will or won't do. i know what i believe is right, and when i see fit, i participate.

the violent metaphors were: ramming something down our throats and not giving a flying f*ck. not exactly peaceful sentiments.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 12:15 am

"i know obama is cautious and slow, but i also believe he wants to be more progressive than he is, he just wants to have that flank be more vocal than it is and he has said as much--i'm not making that up."

You really "believe" what he says, do you? WHY? (Is it that D behind his name?) Talk about gullible people! They will fall for anything this man says. That's a perfect example of what I was talking about: the spell that Obama casts over many people. It's couched in, "I also believe he wants to be...."
That's the same mentality of fundamentalist christians. "I also believe..."

I suspect the innocent people he's droned don't consider him "cautious and slow" and there are many other examples I could give.

And I won't even touch the "more progressive than he is" part. The guy is to the right of Bush and someone is going on about "more progressive than he is."

It's hopeless.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 12:44 am

Usually when someone uses the word Obama and "progressive" in the same sentence, it means they fell for his same-gender marriage stunt:

Obama backs gay marriage

While the administration sought to frame Obama’s remarks as a reaction to unscripted statements from Vice President Biden over the weekend, the timing of the announcement had all the hallmarks of a calculated political decision—an attempt to divert attention from the economic and social crisis, while bolstering Obama’s support among the more privileged sections of the middle class for whom issues such as gay marriage are the principal political questions."

"There was also an element of crass financial calculations in the decision to make the statement. On Wednesday, Obama sent out a message to supporters highlighting his new position on gay marriage and requesting donations. According to the Washington Post, the campaign received a “massive surge of contributions” in response. On Thursday evening, Obama was in Hollywood for a fundraiser at the home of actor George Clooney, expecting to net the campaign a record-setting $15 million in a single day."

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 2:50 am

i agree w/ you on more than you think, but hopefully, your outrage will take a back seat to just coming out today and making history. i believe in us more than any figurehead, if you wanna know the truth.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 11:30 am

Some of us have 'figured it out'...along with the steps we need to take if we're to have any hope of saving the planet and rescuing our democracy (such as it is)~

"If the Constitution is to have any relevance, and if America is to remain a free society, then there is really no alternative: there must be a bill of impeachment drawn up and submitted in the House, and there must at least be a hearing on that bill in the House Judiciary Committee.

"The disclosure, by NBC, of a so-called “white paper” by the White House offering the legal justification for the executing of American citizens solely on the authority of the executive branch and the president exposes a White House so blatantly in violation of the Constitution that it simply demands such a hearing."


Posted by Gramsci on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

Will Van Jones call for Obama's impeachment if the prez gives the go ahead to the Keystone XL? He certainly was eloquent on Sunday. But will Obama get the message?

Van Jones: "One thing I know having worked in this town, the simple maxim, if you don’t fight for what you want, you deserve what you get. If you don’t fight for what you want, you deserve what you get. I had the honor of working for this president, and I want to direct my message to him."

"President Obama, all the good that you have done, all the good you can imagine doing will be wiped out, wiped out by floods, by fires, by superstorms if you fail to act now to deal with this crisis that is a gun pointed at the head of the future. Everything you have done. History will judge you 20 years from now based on one decision alone. That decision is not in the hands of the congress. That decision is not in the hands of any governors. That decision is not in the hands of any mayors or any dogcatchers. The decision is in your hands, Mr. President, your hands. Your hands. The decision to let this pipeline come through America is a most fateful decision you’ll ever make, Mr. President. It would be like jabbing a dirty needle into this country from Canada. It would be like lighting a fuse on a carbon bomb. That is what it would be like doing, Mr. President. And you cannot allow that to happen. If the pipeline goes through, Mr. President, the first thing it runs over will not be farmland. The first thing it runs over will not be small towns. If you let this pipeline go through, Mr. President, the first thing it runs over is the credibility of the President of the United States of America. That is the first thing it runs over."


Posted by Guest on Feb. 18, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

"History will judge you 20 years from now based on one decision alone."

What crap. Who decided that KXL was the gold standard on environmentalism and the defining issue of our time?

Posted by marcos on Feb. 18, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

if our prez puts his money where his mouth is he should stop it & fracking. it's just the overwhelming evidence out there supported by an overwhelming majority of scientists...that we need to reverse course like yesterday. why can't we derive all sorts of jobs from clean energy already? why shouldn't we demand it? didn't this president get the nobel peace prize for god's sake? and shouldn't that include environmental peace, not havok? i think so. so what's so radical about expecting him to draw the line and set an example?

Just start reading this and you'll get a sense of what's not right: http://www.alternet.org/environment/wicked-brew-would-be-transported-key...

i'm sick of hearing the mantra "jobs jobs jobs" without any regard for the big picture. it's a dangerous way to do business and we the people ought to be demanding a saner, wiser course. auto-pilot, and the call of big oil ain't working no more.

Posted by Daniele E. on Feb. 19, 2013 @ 12:39 am