February 17, 2013 (San Diego) – Across the nation, protests are being organized on Presidents Day, February 17, against the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. In San Diego, environmental groups including the Sierra Club and 350.org will gather at Mission Bay Park Vistiors Center (Mission Bay Drive and Clairemont Drive) from 1-3 p.m.
Speakers will include Mayor Bob Filner (City of San Diego), Dr. Jeffrey Severinghaus (ScrippsInstitution of Oceanography), Lori Saldaña (former Assemblywoman and Chair of Sierra Club San Diego), Rev. Dr. Beth Johnson (Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship), and Elizabeth Perez-Halperin (green business owner and veteran).
The Keystone Pipeline would transmit crude oil and bitumen from the oil sands region in Athabasca, Canada to the U.S., ending at the Gulf Coast. Extraction of oil from tar sands produces more greenhouse gases than other means of oil extraction. There are also concerns that leaks could polllute water supplies and wildlife habitat.
Native Americans and indigenous First Nations people in Canada have joined with environmentalists in opposing the project due to potential negative impacts on native fishing, waterways, and reservation lands.
“We want the world to know that San Diegans agree: we’ve got to stop using fossil fuels if we want to beat climate change,” an e-mail from local event organizers states. “We only have one planet. The time is now.”
Music at the event will be provided by Charlie Imes as well as a special singing telegram for President Obama will be performed by the Occupella Chorus.