Hollywood celebs, musicians and landowners thank Obama for Keystone pipeline veto

Content API Import Image_9081394407027789010

GRN Reports

As soon as President Obama vetoed Congress’ Keystone XL pipeline bill today, organizers of those opposed to the pipeline issued a heartfelt thank you. The thank you note, crafted and posted by 350.org, was signed by several top Hollywood stars, filmmakers, musicians, environmental leaders, two members of Congress and affected landowners and tribal leaders.

The signers included Willie Nelson and Neil Young, who gave a free concert for Nebraska and South Dakota landowners concerned about the threat to water supplies from the tar sands pipeline.

Hollywood actors, some just back from the Oscars ceremony, like Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore, also signed the “Dear Mr. President” letter.

(See other celebs, environmental and tribal leaders, authors, actors and athletes who signed the letter on the list below.)

The letter also capsulized why so many opposed the 1,700-mile transcontinental pipeline so vociferously, for many years and over multiple protests, at the White House, pipeline construction sites and the offices of pipeline backers.

As a major study in Nature last month confirmed, a serious effort to control global warming must keep the ‘dirtiest oil in the world’ safely underground. Keystone XL must be evaluated not just as a pipeline but as part of the tar sands industry’s plans for rapid and reckless expansion. As you have stated, the climate impacts of major infrastructure projects are a matter of national — and international — interest. Rejecting Keystone XL is the kind of the principled choice leaders need to make. There is no way to reconcile this pipeline with a serious climate policy.

The letter is clearly aimed at reminding Obama that opposition to the pipeline runs deep and wide. It mentions the “millions” who’ve signed petitions against it and notes that it would employ only a few people long term. It describes the project as “a classic boondoggle, whose only beneficiaries will be a handful of rich oil companies while our families take on all the risk.”

Proponents of the project obviously see the Keystone pipeline project differently, describing as a way to convey needed oil to the US, though that claim has been challenged.  Opponents of the pipeline say the US will mainly serve as a conduit for pipeline owner TransCanada to get the oil to international markets.

The Keystone XL pipeline, which has already been partly completed in a section running across Oklahoma and Texas, would carry tar sands oil mined in Alberta, Canada to refineries in the Houston area, traversing the midsection of the US.

The bill Congress passed would have forced acceptance of the remaining construction. Obama’s veto stops the fast-tracking, but the project could still win approval through the usual means, via the administration, though that seems less likely now.

It is believed that a shorter route for tar sands oil to ports in Western Canada was never attempted because the pipeline would have had to cross multiple jurisdictions owned by First Nations tribes, which have largely opposed such intrusions.

Tribal leaders in the US also opposed the pipeline crossing their lands in South Dakota. Nebraska’s farmers and residents put up the biggest fight, fearing that the pipeline will contaminate the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest underground store of freshwater in the US. The pipeline was delayed and rerouted slightly to avoid areas where the aquifer is closest to the surface, though its new route didn’t satisfy opponents.

Anyone can sign the 350.org letter to the president. Here are some of the well-known people who have kicked it off:

Willie Nelson, Musician

Mark Ruffalo, Actor

Neil Young, Musician

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Julianne Moore, Actress

Naomi Klein, Author

Alec Baldwin, Actor

U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva

Robert Redford, Actor

Norman and Lyn Lear, Producers

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor

Rev. Jim Wallis, Preacher

Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network

Bill McKibben, 350.org

Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska

Thom Yorke, Musician

Michael Brune, Sierra Club

Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Lubicon Cree First Nation

James Hansen, Climate Scientist

Randy Thompson, Nebraska Rancher

Daryl Hannah, Actress

Jean Ross, Karen Higgins, Deborah Burger, National Nurses United

Faith Spotted Eagle, Ihanktonwan Treaty Council

Vanessa Redgrave, Actress

Larry Hanley, Amalgamated Transit Union

Michael Kieschnick, CREDO

Susan Sarandon, Actress

Lance Bass, Musician

Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters

Van Jones, Author

Anna Galland, MoveOn.org

Robert Kennedy Jr., Author

Sarah Neufeld, Musician

Ian Somerhalder, Actor

Peter Lehner, Natural Resources Defense Council

Patti Smith, Musician

Mike Richter, Athlete

Frank Waln, Musician

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Hip Hop Caucus

Marisa Tomei, Actress

John McEnroe, Athlete

Whit Jones and Kendall Mackey, Energy Action Coalition

Steve Kretzmann, Oil Change International

Arturo Carmona, Presente.org

Rebecca Solnit, Author

Laura Poitras, Film Director

Erich Pica, Friends of the Earth

Kyra Sedgwick, Actress

Todd Paglia, ForestEthics

Art and Helen Tanderup, Harvest the Hope Hosts

Josh Fox, Film Director

Ricken Patel, Avaaz.org

Thurston Moore, Musician

Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense Fund

Frank James, Dakota Rural Action

Dan Cantor, Working Families Party

Gus Speth, Environmentalist

Lindsey Allen, Rainforest Action Network

Richard Patrick, Musician

Margot Kidder, Actress

Ai-jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Frances Fisher, Actress

Susan Stephenson, Interfaith Power and Light

Laura Michalchyshyn, Producer

Anthony Edwards, Actor

Jeremy Hays, Green For All

David Gelber, Producer

Steve Jordan, Musician

Billy Wimsatt, Author

Joel Bach, Producer

Joe Uehlein, Labor Network for Sustainability

Lyn Lear, Producer

Heather McGhee, Demos

Nebraska State Senator Ken Haar

Jonathan Marc Sherman, Playwright

Greg and Suzanne Walmer, Landowners

Fletcher Harper, Green Faith

Lonnie and Sandra Breiner, Landowners

Jack Geiger, Physicians for Human Rights

Martha Plimpton, Actress

Jack and Lynelle Huck, Landowners

Lloyd, Vencille, Paul, Cody and Logan Hipke, Landowners

Gary and Donna Roller, Landowners

Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, New York State Nurses Association

Mike and Cheri Blocher, Landowners

Terry Tempest Williams, Author

Tom, Cathie, Lance Genung, Landowners

Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA

William and Susan Huwaldt, Landowners

Barbara Kopple, Film Director

Wendy Abrams, Philanthropist

Kent Adelson, Landowner

Sherry Loseke, Landowner

John Quigley, Artist

Rebecca Foon, Musician

Lori and Ron Fischer, Landowners

Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change

John, Ty and Andrew Pribramsky, Landowners

Debbie Levin, Environmental Media Association

Joslyn Barnes, Producer

Kurt and Laura Meusch, Landowners

Walton Ford, Artist

Gerald and Vanessa Brand, Landowners

George Goehl, National

Bob Holman, Poet

Larry, Lori and J.D. Mudloff, Landowners

John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies

Shannon and Suz Straka-Heyden, Landowners

Alexandra Shiva, Film Director

Allpress Family, Landowners

Dr. Irwin Redlener, Children’s Health Fund

Delwyn and Allene K Schwager, Landowners

Jesse Paris Smith, Musician

Kimi Hendricks, Landowner

Scott Reed, PICO National Network

Ken Winston, Nebraska Sierra Club

Anne Waldman, Author

Aldo Seoane, Wica Agli

Laurie Anderson, Musician

Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch

Lynn Goldsmith, Photographer

Terre Roche, Musician

Karen Sheinheit, Actress

Mark Ephraim, Producer

Larry and Ann Anderson, Landowners

Kim Pokorosky, Actress

Jim Doble, Musician

Alystyre Julian, Producer

Nacho Arimany, Musician

Mary Jane Nyberg, Landowners

Kate Sekules, Author

Hammond Family, Landowners

Devin Waldman, Musician

Abbi Kleinschmidt, Landowner

Bob Thurman, Author

Harrington Family, Landowners

Sam Messer, Artist

Ambrose Bye, Musician

Berry Family, Landowners

Eli Smith, Musician

Heather White, Environmental Working Group

Julie Panebianco, Musician

Kenny Bruno, New Venture Fund

Robert Kenner, Filmmaker

Sandy Newman, Voices for Progress



web stats

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.