Photos by Rene Theberge, copyright 2014.
Western Mass Protestors Demand Stop to Keystone XL Pipeline
(Amherst, MA) On Monday, February 3, 2014, people around the country joined protests in 230 cities demanding that Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama block permission for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry polluting tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, across the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the heavy energy cost of tar sands oil production, the supra-polluting nature of the oil itself and its vast quantities, the Keystone XL as a conduit for its distribution has been identified as a major means of increasing greenhouse gas emissions and, as climatologist James Hanson has said, would represent “Game Over for the Climate.”
On the Town Commons in Amherst, MA, over one hundred people gathered in an emergency protest of the State Department’s Environmental Impact Statement, which, organizers declared, falsely claimed that the pipeline would have no significant environmental impact. The study neither recommended nor rejected the pipeline.
Secretary of State John Kerry will now study the statement and make his recommendations to President Obama, who ultimately will decide permitting the pipeline. Demonstrators demanded that both Kerry, former Senator from Massachusetts, and President Obama, recognize the true damage that the pipeline would inflict on the climate through its delivery of dirty oil to world markets. They cited super-storms, rising seas, drought, flood and starvation as the ultimate result of the project.
The protest was organized by Greening Grace of Grace Church, Amherst, and Western Massachusetts Climate Action NOW/350MA. This was one of eight actions sponsored or co sponsored by 350MA around the state–in Boston, Cambridge, Salem, Hingham, Concord, Worcester and Pittsfield.