During the East Coast’s record-high heat wave, with temperatures above 100 degrees, many clean energy advocates, landowners, and indigenous activists gathered outside the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C. for a Nationwide Day of Action. They were protesting a proposed pipeline that would bring toxic tar sands oil from Canada to the U.S. As part of this day of action, demonstrations, community events, and meetings with government officials where held all across the country (including Boston, Detroit, Houston, Lincoln, NE, New York City, Seattle WA, and Sioux City, SD) to condemn the proposed pipeline.

In Washington D.C., folks from Corporate Ethics International, Friends of the Earth, the Indigenous Environmental Network, the National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Sierra Club stood outside the Canadian Embassy next to a 30-foot-high oil barrel to demonstrate their opposition to the toxic tar sand oil pipeline.

Among the speakers at the demonstration was David Kane from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, who denounced Canada’s plans to extract dirty tar sand oil and build a pipeline into the U.S. Mr. Kane urged the Canadian and U.S. governments to build a new economy that is equitable and environmentally sustainable, one that works for the people and planet.

With oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, many people are scrambling to find alternatives to offshore drilling. Canada is looking into tar sand oil as an alternative. But is tar sand really clean? Is tar sand oil a real alternative to offshore drilling? And is it clean energy? “Tar” and “oil” don’t sound very clean to me. And the folks standing outside the Canadian Embassy don’t seem to think so either.

“People have watched one oil tragedy unfold in the Gulf of Mexico and are demanding action to prevent another,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth and a speaker at the Washington, D.C. event. “If President Obama is serious about leading our country to safe, clean alternatives to oil, he can make no choice other than to reject this pipeline, which endangers people’s health and ecosystems from Canada to Texas.”

Extracting dirty tar sand oil will make the wealthy filthy rich at our expense and the planet’s expense, by exacerbating the already significant effects of global warming. Help protect our grandchildren’s future by asking President Obama to listen to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are urging Congress and the Obama administration to stop the pipeline, called the Keystone XL. Following a July 16 deadline for agency input, the administration will determine whether Canada’s pipeline is in the “national interest.” The administration’s final permitting decision is expected this fall.

Help the Obama administration make the right decision for the American people and the planet.

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