Thousands March Against Keystone Oil Pipeline

Greens also call for standards on current power plants

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 17, 2013 4:01 PM CST

(Newser) – A crowd that organizers tallied at 35,000 marched on the White House today to pressure President Obama into nixing the Keystone XL oil pipeline, reports The Hill. The environmental activists came together in the National Mall and heard speeches before heading to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. "They’ve got the lobbyists. They’ve got the super-PACs," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told them. "And then we show up. And we change the game."

But major forces are pushing Obama toward approving the pipeline of fossil fuels to the Gulf Coast from tar sand fields in Canada, The Hill notes. Oil-and-gas groups, the Canadian government, and union groups have all approved Keystone; rejecting it would leave Obama open to Republican criticisms of failing on energy security. But activists are calling it a litmus test on Obama's promise to address climate change. "His heart is there," says former Obama adviser Van Jones. "The question is can we change the politics enough so he can do what he knows is right." (Nebraska has approved the pipeline, and the head of the EPA has quit over it.)

Thousands of protestors gather at the National Mall in Washington calling on President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.
Thousands of protestors gather at the National Mall in Washington calling on President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Native Americans march with other protestors from the National Mall to the White House in Washington during a rally opposing the Keystone oil pipeline, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.
Native Americans march with other protestors from the National Mall to the White House in Washington during a rally opposing the Keystone oil pipeline, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Protestors gather at the National Mall in Washington calling on President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, as well as act to limit carbon pollution from power plants and “move beyond” coal and natural gas, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.
Protestors gather at the National Mall in Washington calling on President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, as well as act to limit carbon pollution from power plants and...   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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