Grassroots groups rallied outside of Senator Tom Carper’s Wilmington office on Monday urging Carper to vote against a bill that would approve building the Keystone XL pipeline.

Delaware Sierra Club Conservation Co-Chair Amy Roe said that the proposed pipeline route poses environmental threats to miles of land and waterways.

“It would go through many many communities and it would terminate in Texas in a region that has been disproportionately impacted by refinery pollution,” said Roe. “There is nothing about the pipeline that invigorates life or supports anything but profits for a Canadian oil company.”

Stephanie Herron, of the Delaware Sierra Club, said:

Thank you to everyone who came out to Senator Tom Carper ‘s office today on only a couple days notice to ask the Senator to stand with Delawareans feeling the impacts of #climatechange instead of with #BigOil by voting “NO” on any bill that would greenlight the #KeystoneXL #tarsands pipeline without allowing President Barack Obama & the U.S. Department of State to complete their review process.

A special thanks to Rev Yearwood from Hip Hop Caucus for taking the time out of his busy day to come up to Delaware to say #NoKXL!

A small group met before the rally with Senator Carper’s New Castle County staff who said that Senator Carper “hasn’t made up his mind yet” about how he’ll vote. We appreciate their taking the time to meet with us.

President of the non-profit organization Hip Hop Caucus Rev. Lennox Yearwood also spoke at the rally, saying that effects of the pipeline will be felt nationwide due to the processing and burning of the extra fossil fuels.

Yearwood noted that the effects could be especially strong in Delaware where oil is already processed.

“When I came here a while ago to preach, one of the things that I noticed in the bulletin was that here in one of the churches they had a cancer ministry,” said Yearwood. “So many people in that church dying too early because of the toxins and the pollutions.”

Ariel Schwalb, a University of Delaware freshman, who was arrested for protesting the pipeline outside the White House in March says not only is the pipeline a polluter, but it also hurts human rights.

“People are being eminent domained and losing the
ir homes in order to build this pipeline,” said Schwalb.

She added oil from the pipeline is often shipped to other countries.

“This is not domestic energy. We should be switching to renewable energy. It’s 2014, we cannot afford to keep burning these fuels,” she said.

A vote on a bill to fast-track the pipeline without presidential approval is expected in the Senate as early as this week.


Ben Szmidt, WDDE

 Amy Cherry, WDEL

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