On June 6, President Obama attended a fundraiser with major Democratic donors in Palo Alto. A group of over 400 Bay Area activists were there to remind him that those who supported him during his campaign, and continue to support him in his political and fundraising efforts, are strongly opposed to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
“Hundreds of activists from across the Bay Area gathered here in Palo Alto tonight to send President Obama a message that allowing the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to move forward would be a betrayal of our children and future generations,” said Brian Haberly, a volunteer leader with the Sierra Club’s Loma Prieta Chapter. “Rejecting Keystone XL is the most significant thing President Obama can do to protect his kids, and ours, from a future filled with fires, droughts, floods and super storms caused by climate change. Many of us have fought for decades to save the San Francisco Bay, and coastal flooding caused by climate change will displace millions of people around the world, and wreak havoc here in our own backyard.”
The activists in the crowd represented a number of local and national environmental and progressive organizations like 350.org, 350 Silicon Valley, 350 Bay Area, Sierra Club, Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter, CREDO Action, Friends of the Earth, The Center for Biological Diversity, and The Raging Grannies. “I volunteered on President Obama’s campaign because I believed he represented our best hope for addressing the urgent problem of climate change. The intense storms and dramatic weather we’re experiencing now are being caused by emissions from over 50 years ago. If we want to ensure a livable planet for our grandchildren, we can’t wait any longer – we must act now.
That means reducing our use of fossil fuels and stopping the development of dirty, carbon-intensive tar sands,” said Lisa Altieri, a volunteer with 350.org. “We worked hard to help elect President Obama. We want him to know that we’re counting on him to protect future generations by keeping his promises on climate and clean energy and rejecting the Keystone pipeline.”
The fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has energized millions and become a test of President Obama’s commitment to dealing with the climate crisis. For the past several months activists have met President Obama at nearly all of his public events and demanded that he keep his promises on climate and reject the permit for the pipeline.
“The last time President Obama was in the Bay Area, he told me that the politics around protecting the environment is tough. But what will really be tough to swallow is if President Obama breaks his promise to the American people to confront climate change, rather than stand up to a foreign oil company whose project would do serious damage to our nation and world,” said Michael Kieschnick, CEO & co-founder of CREDO.