FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Wallace at jen@gpde.us or 302-588-6919
April 2, 2013

Green Party of Delaware members to join street rally in Wilmington calling Carper and Coons out for recent support of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Demand a real plan for climate change and an end to political corruption.

WILMINGTON, DE — Members of the Green Party of Delaware will join an April 4th Keystone XL Delaware March and Rally, organized by the Delaware Sierra Club and 350.org, to protest recent votes in support of the Keystone XL pipeline by Senators Coons and Carper. Concerned Delawareans will convene at Senator Coons’ office at 4pm and after a short rally will march the half mile to Senator Carper’s office.  In spite of huge numbers of Delawareans contacting their offices calling for a vote against it, both Senators voted in favor of the symbolic, non-binding Hoeven amendment 494 to the Senate budget. The amendment calls for the construction of the 1,700 mile pipeline that would carry tar sands from Canada to oil refineries in Texas.

The goal for Green Party participation in the Keystone XL Delaware March and Rally is to demand  Senators Coons and Carper publicly denounce the pipeline and to urge them to stop thwarting the democratic process by voting based, not on on their constituents wishes, but on what is best for their Big Oil campaign contributors. The Hoeven amendment was a non-binding vote so a “no” vote would have not affected the outcome of the construction of the pipeline, but Senators Coons’ and Carper’s “yes” votes have spoken volumes and are out of line with their public positions on climate change. The problem is that a vote against would have angered some of their large campaign financiers as both senators benefit heavily from campaign contributions from oil and coal companies. According to data from opensecrets.org, during the 2011-2012 session Senator Carper received over $90,000 from Big Oil contributors, while Senator Coons received over $30,000. The Green Party of Delaware contends this is a clear conflict of interest.

The Green Party of Delaware accepts no corporate contributions and a core tenet of their its platform is that corporate donations lead to corruption and impede the democratic process. In fact, the Green Party of Delaware, which is affiliated with the national Green Party of the United States, calls for full public financing of federal, state and local elections for this very reason.

“Barbara Boxer [Senator from CA] says that Washington D.C. is the only place in America where people don’t understand that real climate disruption is very dangerous. I say they DO understand, the corporocrats just don’t care. It’s survival of the fattest in their worldview. But they just cannot see they’re on the wrong side of history. They don’t have a plan for our climate future, they only have a plan for their political futures,” said Mark Perri, the chairperson of the Green Party of Delaware and recent candidate for Governor.

The issue of tar sands oil is even closer to home for Delawareans. Currently, tar sands crude is being transported by railcar through Delaware for processing at the PBF Refinery in Delaware City and the refinery even wants to increase production. Tar sands oil creates three times as much climate-disrupting air pollution–the main cause of sea level rise, which is already impacting Delaware. It is also highly carcinogenic and Delaware already has the second highest cancer rate among US states. Accidents like last week’s train derailment in Minnesota, a result of which 30,000 gallons of tar sands oil spilled, and the Arkansas pipeline breach over the weekend, in which an estimated 90,000 gallons has polluted a neighborhood, are possible here in Delaware. Two hundred rail cars, each carrying 20,000 gallons of tar sands crude, travel across the state each day.
It is the position of the Green Party of Delaware that Delaware cannot afford tar sands oil, whether it’s transported by pipeline or railcar, and that Delawareans deserve leaders who will stand up for environmental justice.

What: Keystone XL Delaware March

Who: Participating groups include Delaware Sierra Club; 350.org; Fossil Free UD; the Green Party of Delaware; Occupy Delaware; Wilmington in Transition; Young Peacemakers, and more.

Where: Meet outside Senator Coons’ Wilmington office, 1105 N. Market St, Wilmington, DE.

When: Thursday, April 4th from 4:00pm – 5:30pm

For more information:

Delaware KeystoneXL March Facebook Event
Delaware KeystoneXL March webpage
Green Party of DE
Green Party of the United States
Sierra Club, Delaware Chapter
350.org
UD Students for the Environment
Occupy Delaware

March 2013 -  Minnesota train derailment and spill. Image from

March 2013 – Minnesota train derailment and spill. Image from Kare11.

April 2013 - Exxon pipeline breaks spilling 84,000 gallons of Canadian crude oil near Arkansas lake

April 2013 – Exxon pipeline breaks spilling 84,000 gallons of Canadian crude oil near Arkansas lake. Image from KARK.

 

 

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