Janet Redman, was arrested today in front of the White House in an action to tell President Obama to stop the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project. In a written statement, she tells why she put her put her body on the line for sustainability. She says:
“Martin Luther King, Jr. called civil disobedience ‘the sword that heals.’ Today I’m risking arrest to urge president Obama to be the leader that puts healing the planet and families over the interests of the fossil fuel industry. I’m joining more than 2,000 ordinary folks from the United States and Canada who, over the next two weeks, are doing something extraordinary – putting their bodies on the police line to say no to the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast.
The proposed pipeline would put six states, thousands of miles of rivers and the Ogallala Aquifer at risk of contamination from oil spills. And the pipeline would facilitate the extraction of even more hard-to-reach oil from the tar sands of Alberta, which holds the world’s second largest reserve of climate-warming carbon dioxide. NASA scientist James Hansen has said that unleashing this store of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere would signal “game over” for the fight to curb climate change.
But far more urgent for the communities in Alberta and the Gulf Coast are the life and death consequences of strip mining and refining the tar sands oil. Communities downstream of wastewater ponds in Canada have skyrocketing rates of rare cancers and other diseases. And families living downwind of refineries at the other end of the pipeline will have smokestack pollution added to the heavy toxic burdens they already carry from last year’s BP oil disaster and hurricane Katrina.
Obama has the power to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and the devastating impacts of tar sands oil by denying its construction permit this fall. We call on Obama to use common sense and stand up for the health of our communities and environmental integrity.”