Yes; that does include His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu as well, even though the letter was published by the Nobel Women's Initiative
. NWI was formed by six of the only 12 women to ever receive the Nobel and these laureates are definitely not content to sit on their laurels.
The Keystone XL, proposed by TransCanada Pipelines of Calgary, would carry dirty, toxic and corrosive oil from the tar sands of Alberta through six states in the American heartland to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. The Obama Administration has said it will decide by the end of the year whether to permit the pipeline, after the State Department determines whether it is in the national interest.
All along its prospective route, the pipeline endangers farms, wildlife and precious water aquifers--including the Ogallala Aquifer, the US' main source of freshwater for America's heartland. We are aware that Nebraska's Governor Dave Heineman--as well as two Nebraska Senators--has urged you to reconsider the pathway of the pipeline. In his letter to you he clearly stated his concern about the threat to this crucial water source for Nebraska's farmers and ranchers. The aquifer supplies drinking water to two million people in Nebraska and seven other states.
...There is a better way.
Your rejection of the pipeline provides a tremendous opportunity to begin transition away from our dependence on oil, coal and gas and instead increase investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency.
We urge you to say 'no' to the plan proposed by the Canadian-based company TransCanada to build the Keystone XL, and to turn your attention back to supporting renewable sources of energy and clean transportation solutions. This will be your legacy to Americans and the global community: energy that sustains the lives and livelihoods of future generations.
Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate (1976) - Ireland
Betty Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate (1976) - Ireland
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Laureate (1980) - Argentina
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate (1984) - South Africa
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Laureate (1989) - Tibet
Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace Laureate (1992) - Guatemala
José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Laureate (1996) - East Timor
Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate (1997) - USA
Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate (2003) - Iran
Now to the fun part, i.e., what we can do. According to this statement, Obama has said he will decide by the end of the year, so we've got three months.
Please, pretty please, write letters to the editor, especially if you are in one of the six states affected. Five of the six Governors
involved approve of the pipeline. The only reason the sixth, Nebraska's Dave Heineman, opposes it is because its path could impact the Ogallala Aquifer. He'd be more than happy to see it built somewhere else.
So, please, if you live in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, or Texas, write LTEs and call your Governor
. Stage protests in the capitols. Get as many people as you know to do the same. If you need ideas and fodder for LTEs, just click on the tar sands tag from any diary on the subject and you will have a wealth of info/talking points. One of my favorites is the fact that Keystone 1, the parent pipeline, if you will, has been shut down due to leaks at least a dozen times. Another favorite is the fact that none other than James Hansens of NASA has called this pipeline "game over on climate change" if it is constructed.
If you do not live in one of the six states directly affected, there is still lots you can do. Letters to the editor anywhere are also powerful; if one letter spurs a low-information voter to action, it's a win. You can also sign the petition
and join the over 1,200 people who have protested at the White House.
If you live, or know anybody, in Nebraska, please make sure they know there are two upcoming public meetings
with Mike Johanns regarding the pipeline.
Nebraskans will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route at two meetings scheduled in September.
U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns says the meetings he requested will be held on Sept. 27 in Lincoln and Sept. 29 in Atkinson.
So, that gives us about a week and a half to set the tone for these meetings with letters to the editor all across Nebraska. Let's make Johanns' meetings standing room only!