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Commentary by Mike Tidwell: Saying "No" To The Tar Sands Pipeline

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Commentator Mike Tidwell was part of a group that was arrested at the White House in protest of a proposed tar sands pipeline across six states.
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Commentator Mike Tidwell was part of a group that was arrested at the White House in protest of a proposed tar sands pipeline across six states.

Mike Tidwell is the director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network -- and he says it's an especially appropriate time to consider our relationship to the environment.

I went to the White House and got arrested last week because I don't like hurricanes -- and I really didn't like Irene. The storm knocked out power to my Takoma Park home from Sunday to Monday and it took off the top of my chimney.

I'm especially worried because climate scientists at NASA and elsewhere say severe storms will become more frequent with global warming. They say we have to dramatically cut our use of oil, coal, and natural gas -- the main sources of greenhouse gas pollution.

Here's the irony: the same week Irene menaced the east coast, hundreds of people from all over America -- including Nebraska ranchers and Bethesda Rabbis -- came to the White House to be peacefully handcuffed.

Their Daily Civil Disobedience Message: "Please, Mr. President, say no to one of the dirtiest fossil fuels known to man. Stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline."

The proposed $7 billion, 1700-mile pipeline from Alberta Canada to Texas could increase global warming pollution equal to adding six million new cars to America's roads. Mining for tar sands oil decimates Canadian forests and the pipeline for this tarry sludge is almost guaranteed to spill as it passes through six U.S. states. President Obama has the power to say yes or no to the pipeline. He can simultaneously say yes to alternatives like offshore wind farms in Maryland and Virginia to power electric cars at a fraction of the cost.

By this Saturday, when two weeks of tar sands protests end, we expect nearly 1,000 Americans will have been arrested at the White House to make this point, and to help save the world from deeper droughts, melting ice caps, and bigger hurricanes. I’m proud to be one of those protestors. Now it's back to fixing my chimney, picking up the yard branches, and dreaming of a world of wind mills, not oil spills.

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