Letter: Keep your word, Mr. President
In his inaugural address the president promised, “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” Then why hasn’t President Obama stopped the Keystone XL Pipeline, proposed to carry bitumen from tar sands in Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas, by denying the necessary permit to cross the Canada-U.S. border?
He knows that scientists have identified the excavation, transport and processing of bitumen as significantly more hazardous to the environment than would be the same for conventional oil.
He knows that the pipeline’s completion will allow the exploitation of the largest petroleum reserve on the continent, cancelling out all efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and control global warming.
We heard the president say, “You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.”
Because there is no more ancient value or enduring ideal than the preservation of the natural world, hundreds of thousands of us will remind the president of his promise by demonstrating against the Keystone XL Pipeline in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 17.
Information is at 350.org.
WILTRUD R. MOTT-SMITH