• Local activists at Washington protest (picture)

    Photo credit: Kate Spencer

    Photo credit: Kate Spencer

    An estimated 40,000 people braved freezing temperatures in Washington, D.C. to protest the potential construction of the Keystone XL pipeline which would pump tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Texas. And with them were two from Pacific Grove, John and Vicki Pearse, as well as Kate Spencer whose photo of John is included.

    Long environmental activists, the Pearse couple joined organizers from the Sierra Club and 350.org to pressure President Obama to reject the pipeline plan, though the project has huge bipartisan support in Congress. It is argued that the pipeline would cut dependence on foreign oil and create jobs.

    But a report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service found that the tar sands oil would emit more greenhouse gasses than other crude oil imports. Overall emissions from all aspects of tar sands oil including extraction, processing and consumption are 14 to 20 percent higher than other fuels. It would endanger water supplies in areas through which it passes by being prone to leaks and spills. More energy, too, is required to produce the oil in the first place.

    “What the U.S. needs is energy; it doesn’t need oil. You can get energy from other sources,” said Professor Alan Robock, a climate scientist from Rutgers University who has written on nuclear winter among other climate change subjects.

    Rally organizers said they wanted to urge Obama to follow up on the strong rhetoric in his second inaugural address about the need to slow climate change. Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, is quoted as saying, “Mr. President, we have heard what you’ve said on climate; we have loved a lot of what you’ve said on climate. Our question is: What will you do?”

    John Pearse has agreed to write about the experience – and the issue – for us. We look forward to his report.



    posted to Cedar Street Times on February 19, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News


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