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Frances Beinecke

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Americans Send Over 800,000 Messages Opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline in One Day

Posted: 02/15/2012 12:59 pm

People from across the nation have come together in their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline for dirty tar sands oil. Over the course of just 24 hours, Americans sent more than 800,000 messages to their senators condemning an effort to revive this dirty tar sands pipeline.

NRDC and our partners launched the campaign with the goal of encouraging people to send 500,000 messages. But we blew past that target within six hours. Clearly opposition to the Keystone XL project runs deep and wide.

For months, ranchers, farmers, businesspeople, religious leaders, union members, and youth groups fought this tar sands pipeline. Last month, President Obama rejected it because of the serious environmental and public safety risks it posed to Heartland communities.

But oil companies couldn't accept defeat. They teamed up with Republicans in Congress to draft a provision that would allow the Senate to undo the president's decision.

The House is already rushing through a bill that would force approval of the pipeline in 30 days. That bill has been approved in committee and proposed as an amendment to the transportation bill. When we heard that Senate Republicans were preparing to put a similar measure in its version of the transportation bill, we decided to rally the troops.

We knew lawmakers had gotten an earful from deep-pocketed and well-placed oil lobbyists. It was time they heard directly from the American people. Together with our partner groups, we took to the blogosphere, Twitter feeds, and Facebook to encourage people to write to their senators.

We reminded our leaders that a project which would accelerate climate change, endanger precious water resources, threaten communities with hazardous spills, and facilitate the export of tar sands oil to other countries is not in America's national interest.

On Tuesday, we delivered the messages to Capitol Hill. They were our valentine's to the clean, sustainable energy future we want to give our children.