Arrested, again.

CREDO action

Dear Friend,

On Wednesday, I sat in front of the White House with 47 other environmental leaders, including Bill McKibben, NASA's chief climate scientist James Hansen, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Daryl Hannah, Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, civil rights legend Julian Bond, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, and many others, and was arrested urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline.1

It was the second time I've been arrested for the infraction of sitting down and urging President Obama to "stand up" to the polluters and profiteers who are foolishly and selfishly advocating for this "game over for the climate" project.

CREDO CEO Michael  Kieschnick arrested at the White House

The feeling was familiar: Sitting among brave, committed souls, the White House at our backs, refusing the police orders to disperse, then being handcuffed, arrested, and carted away in the back of a police wagon.

But it was different too.

The first time, in August of 2011 — when I was among 1,253 people arrested over two weeks, including six CREDO staff and hundreds of CREDO Activists — "everyone" in Washington agreed that within months, President Obama was certainly going to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Of course, it didn't happen.

Those first arrests helped unite Obama's environmental voters against Keystone XL in the heat of Obama's re-election, and he rejected the pipeline.

Now, the project is back. But this time, people genuinely don't know what President Obama will do.

What is clear, as the damage from climate-fueled extreme weather and drought increases, is that rejecting Keystone XL couldn't be more important. That's why I was back at the White House this week, part of the Sierra Club's first time engaging in civil disobedience in its 120-year history.

While President Obama may be showing new commitment to making progress against climate change, his continued support for oil drilling and fracking show that we just don't know what he will do. And he simply won't reject this pipeline unless we make him do it.

CREDO Activists have been there from the beginning: From submitting hundreds of thousands of petitions to President Obama, the State Department and the EPA, to making more than 35,000 phone calls to the President and congress, to fighting against Transcanada's treatment of native lands and supporting civil disobedience as Transcanada bulldozed ahead with building the southern portion of Keystone XL. And we can't stop fighting now.

Another decision is coming soon. Keystone XL is a line in the sand. There can be no progress on climate change as long as President Obama is lighting the fuse to the carbon bomb of the tar sands.

As a CEO, it's my job to make tough decisions. This decision is easy. From a business perspective, no other possible energy investment could provide fewer jobs or less benefit to the U.S. than an oil export pipeline. And from an environmental and climate perspective, it is an absolute catastrophe.

It's up to all of us to do everything we can to urge President Obama to reject Keystone XL. I was handcuffed protesting Keystone XL, again. Can you use your hands to pick up the phone today, and make a quick call to the White House?

Thanks for fighting Keystone XL.

Michael Kieschnick, President and CEO
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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1. "Activists arrested at White House protesting Keystone pipeline," Washington Post, 2/13/13

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