Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Obama Campaign Aides to Obama: Reject Keystone XL Pipeline Obama Campaign Aides to Obama: Reject Keystone XL Pipeline

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Energy / ENERGY

Obama Campaign Aides to Obama: Reject Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone Pipeline(Shannon Ramos)

photo of Amy Harder
June 20, 2013

Almost 150 people who worked on President Obama’s 2012 campaign are urging their reelected commander in chief to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

In a letter unveiled at an event in Washington on Thursday morning, 145 former campaign staff members use Obama’s own words to convince the president he should not approve the project, which would send 35 million gallons of carbon-heavy oil sands every day 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast. In the letter, the workers harken back to Obama’s call on election night 2012.

“You closed out our call on November 7th by saying to us, ‘Over the last four years when people ask me how do you put up with the frustrations of Washington, I just look to you. I think about what you guys are going to do. That’s the source of my hope and my inspiration, and I know that you guys won’t disappoint me,’ ” the former staff quote Obama as saying. They close the letter by adding: “For so long you have been the source of our hope and inspiration. Please don’t disappoint us. Reject Keystone XL.”

 

The State Department is reviewing an environmental assessment on the pipeline, the second such review since Obama rejected the project last year in the face of a Congress-imposed deadline. A final decision on the pipeline likely won’t come until at least this fall, but possibly not until early next year.

The letter was formally announced at Thursday's event hosted by Tom Steyer, a billionaire clean-energy venture capitalist who has in the last few months become politically active opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. Steyer, who also announced a new social-media campaign against the pipeline at the event, is a longtime supporter of Obama, dating back to his 2008 campaign. Earlier this year, Obama attended a fundraiser at Steyer’s California home.

Most of the staff members who signed the letter are young, lower-level field organizers from battleground states like Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Iowa. They represent a small fraction of the entire Obama campaign operation, which includes thousands of staffers across roughly 10 battleground states.

The letter signers stress that young people throughout the country voted for Obama because he would support strong action on climate change, which, they write, includes rejecting the pipeline.

“Climate change is a top issue for the youth voters that worked day-in and day-out to elect President Obama,” said Andrew Nazdin, who worked as a deputy training director for Obama’s reelection campaign, Organizing for America, in Virginia in 2012. “The president promised action and we are going to hold him to his word, lead on climate, and reject Keystone XL.” Nazdin, who now is the field director for Energy Action Coalition that organized the letter, was among those arrested recently in Chicago while protesting the project.

The community organizing group that evolved from Organizing for America—Organizing for Action—has notably not taken a position on the pipeline. Ivan Frishberg, the climate-change campaign manager for the group, notes that Obama is going to make a decision based on the State Department’s review, which is what Organizing for Action is going to do too, according to Frishberg.

Before joining Organizing for Action earlier this year, Frishberg worked for five years at Environment America, one of the loudest opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline.

This article appears in the June 21, 2013 edition of NJ Daily.

LIKE THIS STORY? Sign up for Energy Edge

Sign up for our daily newsletter and stay on top of energy coverage.

Sign up form for Energy Edge
Job Board
Search Jobs
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Fire Sprinkler Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Charlotte, NC
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Assistant Professor - Water Resources/Ecological Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Auburn, AL
Product Manager - Chemical Development and Supply - Tulsa, OK
American Society of Civil Engineers | Tulsa, OK
Commissioning Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Business Development Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers
Sr. Controls Systems Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Grand Island, NE
Senior Project Manager- Transportation
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Antonio, TX
Materials Engineer 2
American Society of Civil Engineers | IL
Land Surveyor
American Society of Civil Engineers
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus