Aug 20 was the first day of two weeks of every day civil disobedience in front of the White House, demanding that the President block the permits for the Keystone XL oil pipeline project. This project would extend to the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada, and has been called the fuse of the biggest carbon bomb on the planet. Tar sands oil is so energy intensive to extract that if the mine (it’s mined not drilled) was run solely on it’s own oil, 4 barrels would be consumed out of every 5 mines, with only one available for market. That’s five times worse than conventional oil, making a Prius burning gasoline from tar sands oil the equivalent of a Hummer for CO2 emissions. On top of all else, much of the proposed tar sands mining expansion would destroy Native American land and force people to leave their ancestral homes and ways of life forever.
This is intolerable, but for once Congress and the Tea Party have no say in the issue, it is entirely in the hands of the Executive Branch, at the State Department. If Obama’s administration does the right thing, there’s nothing the Tea Party can do about it! Therefore, for the next two weeks, people are sitting in at the White House to encourage Obama to stand up to Big Oil. At this first protest, just the first of a two-week string of similar protests, there were 68 arrests. These numbers will grow in subsequent protests if the entire 2,000+ people who have committed to show up for civil disobedience at the White House to stop the tar sands pipeline all follow through.