Pledge to resist Keystone XL

The clock is ticking — 45 days and counting — on the most important comment period yet for stopping the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The State Department released its latest report on the pipeline last Friday, and it utterly downplays the profound impact Keystone XL would have on the climate. Will you join us in signing the Pledge to Resist the Keystone XL Pipeline?

The pledge reads: “I pledge, if necessary, to join others in my community, and engage in acts of dignified, peaceful civil disobedience that could result in my arrest in order to send the message to President Obama and his administration that they must reject the Keystone XL pipeline. “

Take the Pledge to Resist<br />Keystone XL

Last Friday was one of those days that remind us of just how steep a hill to climb this fight against climate change is.  Activists like you sent 75,000 comments last summer against the tar sands. This time, it will take 100,000 to show President Obama how fast our movement is growing.

Even with a president who recently professed a lofty goal of getting all cars off of oil, even with one of our stronger climate-hawk senators as the new secretary of state, the State Department still released a joke of an environmental assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline, taking us one big step closer to approval of this project that should be a no-brainer of a rejection.

Obliviously ignoring the consensus among oil executives, bankers, and environmentalists, who all agree that Keystone XL is central to speeding the extraction of tar sands, the State Department found the project is “unlikely to have a significant impact” on tar sands development. This is coward’s logic.

This assessment was a vehicle for the White House to test the waters and see if the public will stand by, and buy this false and cynical argument that the tar sands will just get burned anyway. That while NASA’s chief climate scientist’s assertion that Keystone XL will spell ‘game over’ for the climate may be true, it is essentially irrelevant. That we should let the bankers and the oil companies profit while the planet inevitably burns.

Well, we won’t. And so, last Friday reminded us of something else, too: those two weeks in August of 2011, when the peaceful and dignified arrest of 1,253 people over two weeks at President Obama’s front door effectively stopped what was considered a virtually guaranteed presidential approval of Keystone XL.

There is still time to convince President Obama to change his mind and reject Keystone XL. But with the president ignoring every possible sign Mother Nature can send, it is once again incumbent upon us to send a message he can’t ignore.

That’s why CREDO is joining with Bold Nebraska, The Other 98%, Hip Hop Caucus, Rainforest Action Network, 350, and Oil Change International to launch the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance. It is time for us to pledge to resist. That is, we are asking you to commit — should it be necessary to stop Keystone XL — to engage in serious, dignified, peaceful civil disobedience that could get you arrested.  We need to tell the President and Secretary of State Kerry that they cannot fight climate change while simultaneously investing in one of the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fossil fuels on the planet.  Will you join us in pledging resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline, including — if necessary — pledging to participate in peaceful, dignified civil disobedience?

Sign the petition ►

If tens of thousands of people stand up as President Obama mulls his final decision, and commit to participate in civil disobedience if necessary, we can convince the White House that it will be politically unfeasible to go forward. That is, our goal is not to get arrested. Our goal is to stop the Keystone XL pipeline — by showing enough opposition to Keystone XL that President Obama will reject it. But if he shows clear signs he that he is preparing to approve it, we will be ready.

It goes without saying, this isn’t a usual ask. It is not for everyone. So we want you to carefully consider if this is something you can commit to be a part of.

Here’s exactly what we have in mind: With the release of Friday’s Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, we will have 45 days to submit formal comments. And comment we will. We will petition, rally, make phone calls, and comment through official channels. But that may not be enough.

The moment of truth will come later, at some point likely in the summer, with the release of the Draft National Interest Determination. If the Obama administration issues a draft finding that Keystone XL is in our national interest, that will trigger action on our pledge to resist.

So we are asking you to pledge, if necessary after the release of the Draft National Interest Determination, to join with others in your community and risk arrest in acts of dignified, peaceful civil disobedience all over the country.  Will you join us in pledging resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline, including — if necessary — pledging to participate in peaceful, dignified civil disobedience?

Sign the petition ►

Most events will be outside of Washington D.C., because this decision will affect all of us where we live. So we want to see the beautiful sight of actions across the nation — including a wide variety of symbolic targets like State Department offices, TransCanada corporate lobbies, Obama Organizing for Action meetings, banks that are financing tar sands oil development, areas ravaged by Superstorm Sandy, and along the pipeline route. Some brave souls have started this work already. We need to support their efforts and make them much, much bigger.

You can pledge to participate or you can pledge to help organize an action in your community. We’ll need tons of volunteers. And soon, we’ll announce organizer trainings so local leaders and activists who want to can get the tools they need to organize an action near them.

You shouldn’t make this pledge lightly. We certainly don’t ask lightly. We ask in the belief that there are tens of thousands of people out there who feel as strongly about this as we do, who believe that these circumstances call for extraordinary action, and want to be part of that action in their community. And we ask with the faith that those who commit to participate and organize actions will participate only in the most dignified manner. After all, we are the conservatives, standing up for a safe and secure future for our families. It is those we protest, those who profit from radically altering the chemical composition of our atmosphere — and the prospects for survival of humanity — who are the radicals.

But what is more frightening than asking you to join us in committing to acts of civil disobedience across the nation, is the prospect of coming up short in the fight against Keystone XL. Our time is short to convince President Obama to change his mind. We do not know how many people’s pledges, and how many pledged actions, it will take to convince President Obama to resist the big money, dirty energy, inside-the-beltway pressure and take a stand to protect our nation from the greatest threat of all.  So we need you. Literally, you might tip the balance.

Sign the petition ►

We hope you can join us. If you are so moved, make the pledge. And share this pledge with friends and family so that those who are ready and willing to be arrested can be counted in the pledge to resist. We’ll send you more information soon.

Becky Bond, Michael Kieschnick & Elijah Zarlin, CREDO Action
Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska
John Sellers, The Other 98%
Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Hip Hop Caucus
Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network
May Boeve & Bill McKibben,
Steve Kretzmann, Oil Change International



It’s Time Put the Brakes on Exporting Fracked Gas

Nationally —

Right now, communities across the country are already fighting the fracking industry for clean air and clean water. And the stakes have gotten even higher with the potential for more fracking — all so the natural gas industry can export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to other countries.

The natural gas industry is working every angle — drilling in local communities with abandon while pressuring federal, state, and local policy makers to change laws so they can drill even more. This has got to stop. President Obama needs to make sure there is a time out on LNG exports.

Send your letter today! Tell President Obama to put the brakes on exporting fracked gas.


President Obama is only hearing one side of the story from the Department of Energy, and it favors the natural gas industry. DOE’s recent study on the economics of fracked gas exports completely ignores the public health, environmental, and climate costs of an export rush. The study also shows that the middle class loses if gas is exported — our wages fall and our utility bills rise, while the gas companies get rich.

Let’s remind President Obama of all the other costs: the cost of buying drinking water because your well is polluted with fracking chemicals, lost work days because your child is sick due to respiratory problems, and increasing utility bills to heat our homes while communities are left to pay the price for fracking.

Here at Home in Nevada — 

Houston-based, Noble Energy, has amassed leases of 350,000 net acres  in Elko County on both public and private lands, and is currently drilling exploratory wells around Tabor Flats, just west of Wells.  Fracking has been proven to cause earth quakes and we all know that Wells is an area known to be sensitive to earthquake activity.  The Nevada Wilderness Project has expressed some serious concerns about  Noble Energy’s activities — “We believe that the environmental and social repercussions and possible geological implications … must be investigated in great detail before exploration through fracking can be permitted on public lands.”

Wells-Fracking-Area-LVRJNoble Energy intends to access to oil or gas otherwise trapped deep in the ground through “fracking” — in other words,  by injecting a liquid solution of water, sand and chemicals (which have been found to contain some extremely toxic chemicals and carcinogens) into a well that at high pressure fractures the shale, allowing oil or gas to flow back through the hole.  And … while they say they’re doing this well below any water tables, many folks across the nation where “fracking” has already begun are finding that those chemicals have percolated up into the water table and contaminated their wells and aquifers.

We don’t have all that much water to spare, and now companies like Noble Energy intend to consume vast amounts of water and potentially contaminate what remains for human and wild life consumption.

As if fracking could get any worse for arid Nevada, each fracked oil well consumes millions of gallons of water and turns it into toxic wastewater. But that isn’t stopping Noble Energy from planning a massive 350,000 acre, $130 million fracking project in Elko County.

The project requires approval from Governor Sandoval to move forward. He’ll be under tremendous pressure to green-light the disastrous project, so it’s urgent that Nevada residents speak out against the project now.

Tell Governor Sandoval: Don’t frack Nevada.


Fracking involves blasting millions of gallons of water, deadly toxic chemicals, and sand underground to break apart shale formations, releasing tiny bubbles of oil and gas. Much of the water remains underground forever while the rest, with its toxic chemicals and radioactive material, returns to the surface.

This wastewater can’t be disposed of in conventional water-treatment facilities, so it’s often dumped in massive open ponds that create dangerous air pollution or in deep injection wells that cause earthquakes.

Fracking will only exacerbate Nevada’s already dire water crisis, as it’s done in other Western states. In Colorado, for instance, fracking already consumes more water than Fort Collins, the state’s fourth-largest city, and the fracking industry routinely outbids farmers for water rights.

Wastewater is only one of the many threats that fracking poses to nearby residents. Fracking-related chemical spills and well casing failures contaminate drinking water, and fracking generates cancer-causing air pollution and smog. Plus, each fracked oil well requires hundreds of trips by diesel trucks, increasing traffic fatalities and respiratory illnesses in nearby communities.7

Shockingly, this dangerous practice remains virtually unregulated at the federal level, where Dick Cheney and Halliburton managed to pass sweeping loopholes exempting fracking from most major environmental laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act.8 As a result, the burden of regulating fracking has fallen on states, which have, without exception, badly failed to protect their citizens.9

It’s important to act now to prevent fracking before it starts in Nevada, and before Nevadans find themselves facing similar public health crises as heavily fracked states like Colorado, Pennsylvania and Texas.

1. Bruce Finley, “Drilling spills reaching Colorado groundwater; state mulls test rules,” The Denver Post, December 9, 2012
2 Henry Brean, “Oil/gas search: Fracking comes to Nevada,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 16, 2013
3. “Study shows air emissions near fracking sites may pose health risk,” University of Colorado Denver Newsroom, March 19, 2012
4. Becky Hammer, “Fracking’s Aftermath: Wastewater Disposal Methods Threaten Our Health & Environment,” NRDC Switchboard, May 9, 2012
5. Mark Harden, “Fracking in Colorado uses a city’s worth of water, enviro report says,”Denver Business Journal, June 20, 2012
6. Jack Healy, “For Farms in the West, Oil Wells Are Thirsty Rivals,” New York Times, September 5, 2012
7. “Hydraulic Fracturing 101,” Earthworks
8. Lauren Pagel and Lisa Sumi, “Loopholes for Polluters,” Earthworks, May 16, 2011
9. Steve Horn, “Regulatory Non-Enforcement by Design: Earthworks Shows How the Game is Played,” DeSmogBlog, September 27, 2012