Today marked the tenth day that protesters have gathered outside the White House to show their disapproval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Despite the fact that the U.S. State Department approved the project days ago, saying that “the pipeline’s owner, TransCanada, had reduced the risks of an accident to an acceptable level,” today was also the largest day of arrests at the 14-day sit-in, with 140 other Americans headed to jail.
“If Obama chooses the dirty needle it will confirm that the President was just green-washing all along, like the other well-oiled coal-fired politicians, with no real intention of solving the addiction,” said NASA’s Dr. James Hansen, who was among those arrested at the White House this morning.
Although the State Department gave the Keystone XL its final seal of approval, President Obama must decide whether or not to grant a “presidential permit” for TransCanada, to begin construction on the pipeline, which will wind a 1,700 mile path from the Canadian tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.
Best-selling evangelical author Jim Wallis, who recently served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, also sent a message of support to the protesters:
“American Christians are demanding a new direction in America’s energy future — one that marks our turn away from oil and fossil fuels and toward cleaner and renewable energy sources,” wrote Wallis. “Developing the tar sands in Canada and building the Keystone XL pipeline through six states in the American Midwest is the wrong direction for our country and derails progress of building a responsible energy infrastructure.”
Image Credit: Flickr – tarsandsaction