President Obama Greeted by Animal Costume-Wearing Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters

Categories: Politics

courtesy 350 South Florida

President Barack Obama left South Florida on Thursday night after attending a fund raiser at the home of former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning, but not before being greeted by dozens of people protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Protesters, some wearing costumes representing everything that's wrong with the pipeline, lined a portion of street blocked off for them in along the 108th block of Ludlam Road in Pinecrest. They held up signs and led chants as the President was hosted by the Mournings at a fundraiser attended by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

See also: President Obama to Be Met by Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters Dressed as Sea Creatures

courtesy 350 South Florida

"Pipeline protesters and media were kept several blocks away from Mourning's home," 350 South Florida Treasurer and Broward College student Giovanni Bonelli says.

Still, it was a sizable enough crowd to be noticed. And, as promised, there were folks dressed as sea creatures, a dancing polar bear, and even a water drop.

courtesy 350 South Florida

courtesy 350 South Florida

Members from groups like 350 South Florida, The Center for Biological Diversity,, The Sierra Club South Florida, CREDO, and other pro climate groups led protesters in chants urging Obama to "Say No to the Keystone XL Pipeline."

If built, the proposed 1,700-mile pipeline would transport up to 35 million gallons of oil a day from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, all the way down to refineries in Texas. And while the pipeline would not be placed anywhere in Florida, the group says the state's environment will be negatively affected.

"The pipeline will be bringing in corrosive tar sands," Bonelli told New Times, "and will contribute to climate change and damage sea levels, which is something that will directly affect Florida."


350 South Florida says that much of the Keystone Pipeline oil would be exported to other countries like China.

The pipeline does have some support in the Florida Legislature. Rep. Mike Hill of Pensacola has proposed a House bill urging the president to consider the approval of the construction of the Keystone Pipeline.

But, for the protesters who met Obama with signs and costumes, it's a matter of protecting the environment.

Some protestors showed up as sea creatures, which represents the local threat of sea level rise. Likewise, the dancing polar bear represents the extinction of animals globally, due to climate change.

President Obama is expected to make a decision on the pipeline later this year.

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There are many good reasons to say "no" to Keystone.  It will not create the jobs claimed for it, nor will it reduce prices at the pump.  It threatens water supplies in measures that would make the BP spill seem mild.

But most importantly, the IEA estimates that Keystone would harvest 3 times the carbon that would take us over 2 degrees C, the absolute limit for a catastrophe we might survive, if we're lucky.

See: "IEA acknowledges fossil fuel reserves climate crunch"

We are of warned of a potential climate abyss by our most trusted messengers, such as NOAA, NASA, the Royal Academy of UK (SIr Isaac Newton was president), National Academy of Sciences (Einstein was a member) the very conservative World Bank, National Geographic, Scientific American,  the IMF.  We are told of current disastrous health effects by the 
American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization and the AMA.

We cannot rely on State Department assessments, if made by employees of the carbon industries.

And Keystone would eventually strip forests the size of Florida, forests that might have absorbed enormous quantities of CO2 before they were removed as "overburden".

Would Keystone "replace" those forests? They say they would repair any
 damage, right? Laughable.

Even 2 degrees itself may be too high - a "prescription for disaster"
says Dr. James Hansen, chief climatologist at NASA (ret.), one who, early on, predicted many of the catastrophic effects that we have seen.

Many of us know the bitter taste of the weird weather out there, with just current warming of  .8 deg C. Shall we roll the dice for our kids and grand kids, saying "let it ride!" beyond 2 degrees and more? More, and we might invite abrupt, irreversible changes.

No, taking your kids to to Disney World does not make up for that.
With its high risks and low return, Keystone XL is not a smart gamble.


@freed358 2 major rail disasters in the last 2 years linked directly to transporting crude oil. Regardless whether the US purchases the oil or not Canada is going to harvest this resource and it's still going to get transported either by rail or pipeline. Pipeline is much safer than rail, by order of magnitude safer!

Our planet is 4.5 billion years old and been through at least a couple dramatic periods of significantly warmer and cooler periods. Co2 and Methane are also both naturally occurring and there have been times when the level of Co2 was dramatically higher than it is now.

I'd be much more concerned with the 17 trillion and climbing debt the US is incurring because that is going to have a much bigger impact on our children's  opportunity to visit Disneyland than climate change or whatever you are calling it these days. 

KennyPowersII topcommenter

@marmy @freed358Wow. Afloat in the Sea of Ignorance. If Canada wants to transport its flawed product to China and India they need to go West, not South.


@marmy @freed358 '...the same political struggle that you see around the pipeline can easily be called into existence around freight rail. Now of course if you think fossil fuel extraction is an industry we should be encouraging, you won't care—you'll be for pipelines and for rail shipments. But if you don't think we should encourage fossil fuel extraction, it's wrong to say the pipeline battle is pointless because the oil will just go out on train instead. If the political process can halt pipelines, it can halt railroads too."


@marmy @freed358 BTW: There are oil sludge rail accidents also. A simple Google of that will demonstrate.  

Rail is far more expensive than pipeline. Another $8/bbl.  That is why 'they' have been waiting so many years for approval.  The tar sands needs to stay in the ground. 

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