Breaking: Hundreds of Arrests at Keystone Demonstration

March 2, 2014


Today more than 1,000 youth from across the country marched to the White House from Georgetown University—where President Obama laid out his “climate test”—to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. Once at the White House, hundreds of youth were arrested while participating in a nonviolent civil disobedience sit-in. This protest was the largest youth act of civil disobedience at the White House in a generation.

As the fight over the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline seems be accelerating towards a final decision, protestors have turned up the heat on President Obama to reject the project as this major, youth-led protest, XL Dissent, took over the White House.

“As the fight to stop KXL enters its final stages, it’s truly inspiring to see young people at the forefront,” said Bill McKibben, founder of “This pipeline is scheduled to last 40 years—right through the prime of their lives. President Obama needs to look them in the face.”

The young people represented more than 50 colleges and universities taking action in solidarity with groups on the frontlines of dirty energy expansion and climate impacts, such as First Nations and refining communities, ranchers and farmers along the route, and those fighting tar sands expansion in Michigan and beyond.

“The construction of Keystone XL will be ‘game over’ on the climate front, as climatologist Jim Hansen has stated,” said Conor Kennedy on the XL Dissent website. “Most of us understand that we have reached the tipping point. The question now is whether we continue down the path toward cataclysm, or make a bold break towards a brighter future.”

“These people who are willing to put themselves on the line are real heroes because our leaders do not understand the importance of this,” said James Hansen yesterday about XL Dissent while speaking at the University of Oregon’s Environmental Law Conference. “For them to rule that there’s no environmental impact is pure scientific garbage.”


The bipartisan poll conducted for the League of Conservation Voters found solid 80% support among under-35 voters for Barack Obama’s climate change plan – and majority support even among those who oppose the president.

On the flip side the poll found three-quarters of voters, or 73%, would oppose members of Congress who stood in the way of Obama’s climate action plan.

The findings could prove awkward for Republicans in Congress who have adopted climate contrarianism as a defining feature.

Some 55% of Republicans in the House of Representatives and 65% of those in the Senate reject the science behind climate change or oppose action on climate change, according to an analysis by the Centre for American Progress.

Embarrassingly, many members of Congress still do not accept the scientific consensus on climate change. See a map here. Goldenberg reports on how these deniers are seen by young voters.

The implications were even more harsh for those Republicans who block Obama on climate action and dispute the entire body of science behind climate change. “For voters under 35, denying climate change signals a much broader failure of values and leadership,” the polling memo said. Many young voters would write such candidates off completely, with 37% describing climate change deniers as “ignorant”, 29% as “out of touch” and 7% simply as “crazy”.

55 Responses to “Breaking: Hundreds of Arrests at Keystone Demonstration”

  1. at 32 minutes you get the graphs and explanation for a drop in oil consumption.

  2. It looks most likely, that the oil empire is dying of its own accord, not due to outside influences, but chiefly because FF are more difficult to find and extract. That reflects in declining payback costs on investment. Peter wrote a little while ago about how divestment is becoming a real possibility. The fastest growing replacements will take the lead in energy growth and the determining factor will be the cost of replacements relative to the fading FF costs. Previously, we have seen how the EIA, and IEA future energy estimates were completely erroneous and skewed. Their estimates predict no growth in solar or wind from now on for decades. It appears the FF industry propaganda has everyone, including climate scientists bamboozled into believing we can extract all the remaining reserves of FF and must do so.
    “In all BAU scenarios, it is presumed that energy technology (coal-to-liquids, biofuels, electric cars, any or all of these) will seamlessly step up to replace oil as the need arises. This assumption is not yet proven, and it appears to be tragically unrealistic.”
    That means we are back to replacements for dwindling FF, and we better do it in earnest.

  3. redskylite Says:

    Interesting interview between James Hansen and Earthfix:

    and a view from Professor R.B Alley:

    Just how dangerous will the Keystone XL pipeline be?

    Great question. Not so great answer. There is a lot of carbon in the tar sands, and if we burn it all, it will be a real contributor to future warming. But, because there is much carbon elsewhere, the tar sands by themselves don’t make or break the future; they contribute significantly. Perhaps more importantly, it appears that a lot of oil from the tar sands is getting out by rail or in other ways. Some commentators have argued that unless the pipeline is built, the tar sands won’t be developed, and thus the pipeline is very important, but with the rail traffic, my suspicion is that lack of the pipeline may slow down the tar-sands development but will not stop it. Others may have other opinions, and they may be better than mine, but I think that Keystone XL matters, but is not the most important thing being discussed about energy and environment policies now. –Richard

    • There is one and only one reason for the pipeline. Its the cheapest way to get tar sands oil to an overseas market that will pay more for it. Since tar sands oil already requires dramatically more investment vs return compared to conventional oil of the past, there is less room for distribution cost, and more need to sell it globally to take advantage of higher prices further from the source. Rail will make it more expensive, thus reduce profits and volume. See Kopits video for how oil behaves now and the interplay between China and US demand. That tells volumes about why the Keystone oil is going overseas. At 18 to 27 minutes.

  4. redskylite Says:

    Study Finds Keystone XL Would Have Much Larger Impact Than State Department Suggests

  5. […] 2014/03/02: PSinclair: Breaking: Hundreds of Arrests at Keystone Demonstration […]

  6. […] 2014/03/02: PSinclair: Breaking: Hundreds of Arrests at Keystone Demonstration […]

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