Thousands Rally Against Keystone XL Pipeline

Thousands of protesters rallied against the Keystone XL pipeline on Sunday, taking to the streets all around the country to express their dislike for the tar sands pipeline.

The protesters urged President Obama to reject the proposed line, which would carry tar sands from Canada through the US.

The crowd counts in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles were not independently confirmed, but estimates said that more than 45,000 people gathered to protest the line’s construction.

NBC News notes that the rally at the US capital started at the Washington Monument. From there, the “Forward on Climate” rally marched to the White House.

Along with protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, the crowd also pressed the White House to follow through on promises to address climate change.

The rally took place just days after the bipartisan group of US senators called on Obama to approve the $5.3 billion pipeline. It is seen by supporters as an engine for job growth, as well as a step toward energy independence.

But Yahoo! News notes that one of the rally’s main organizers, climate activist Bill McKibben, said approving the pipeline would be like lighting a “carbon bomb” that will cause irreparable harm to the climate. McKibben added:

“For 25 years our government has basically ignored the climate crisis: now people in large numbers are finally demanding they get to work.”

The Tar Sands Blockade has worked for months to prevent construction of the pipeline from taking place in Texas. The Keystone XL pipeline, a project proposed by TransCanada Corp, would send 830,000 barrels of oil per day across the United States.

Another critic of the pipeline, is Obama’s former green jobs adviser Van Jones. Jones stated that if the president approves the pipeline, it would overshadow his other actions to reduce pollution. The president recently pledged to act on climate change.

Do you think the president should approve the Keystone XL pipeline, or are protesters right to rally against it?

[Image by Josh Lopez (_MG_9998Uploaded by PDTillman) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]