Clinton’s Big Decision on Tar Sands

Cross posted from

Update: Video , Press Release and Flier

Secretary Clinton’s pen could prevent a new pipeline that would suck filthy tar-sands into the US. This morning, the Avaaz Action Factory in DC showed the State Department just how terrible the oil sands are, and how much of a climate hero Clinton can be.

During the DC morning rush hour activists with the Avaaz Action Factory headed to the State Department equipped with a kiddie pool of tar sands mixture, and a big banner stating: “Clinton be a Leader. Say No to Tar Sands, Stop Global Warming.” About 1000 State Department employees walked by a battle between Super Climate Clinton and the Tar Sands Monster on their way to work.
Action Factory members constructed a Boreal forest on the sidewalk in front of the State Department. There, the heartless corporate executives plotted to exploit US and Canadian dependence on oil by promoting tar sands extraction. The Tar Sands Monster, encouraged by the executives, awoke and dragged the oil-addicted US and Canada down into the dirty tar sand pit, pulling the rest of the world with them!

The world’s only hope was Super Climate Clinton who faced a big decision: Should she rescue the countries trapped by the Tar Sands Monster? Or should she give in to the sleazy oil executives and approve an oil pipeline that would extend the U.S.’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels for decades to come?

Executives from Shell Oil and the Royal Bank of Canada, the largest financier of oil sands extraction, distracted and mislead Super Climate Clinton, knowing that if she examined the situation she wouldn’t approve. But Clinton heard the loud calls for help from the United States, Canada, and Mother Earth. Once Clinton actually looked and saw the filthy destruction in the Boreal forests, she rescued the trapped countries, beat the dirty Tar Sands monster back and chased away the corporate executives.

Secretary Clinton has the power to stop a major expansion of dirty oil production, but she needs to act quickly. The Obama campaign has promised a transformative switch to a clean energy economy, but his administration’s actions on mountain top removal coal mining and oil sands expansion have yet to live up to his word.

Furthermore, Secretary Clinton just returned from a highly publicized trip to India where the media reported that she ‘clashed’ with the developing nation over an agreement on reducing emissions. Denying this pipeline is a big opportunity for Clinton to come back from this blow and make crucial call to prevent expansion of oil sands extraction.

Clinton hopefully got our message, but she’ll definitely get it if you join us in taking action:

What you can do:
Call the US State Department at (202) 647-4000 and ask for Secretary Clinton’s representative and ask her to turn down the Clipper Pipeline and say no to dirty energy expansion.

Then post to your facebook wall or tweet: I just called Clinton asking her to stop prevent a dirty #oilsands pipeline into the US.

Today’s action is part of a much larger effort involving the Rainforest Action Network, the Sierra Club and many more groups fighting to stop tar sands extraction.


  • Oil Sands projects are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution in Canada.
  • Production of oil from tar sands bitumen produces between 3 and 5 times the greenhouse gas pollution of conventional oil production.

There has been a push to get off ‘foreign oil’ and stop sending money to the middle east. Whether you consider Canadian oil to be foreign or not (obviously it is), these discussions miss the point: Oil causes climate change, and we need to stop developing new sources of oil, new infrastructure for oil and instead focus on climate change solutions.

That’s why this pipeline is critical. A major piece of infrastructure will make it that much harder to phase out the use of dirty fossil fuels, which is one of the reasons the backers of this project are pushing so hard to get this through without even a public debate.

Clipper Pipeline

Enbridge wants to build a 1,000-mile pipeline to transport crude oil from the Alberta Oil Sands to Superior, Wisconsin. The 36-inch Alberta Clipper Pipeline would carry up to 450,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Hardisty, Alberta (Canada) to refineries in the United States — primarily in the Midwest.

Graphic: Minnesota Public Radio/Enbridge.

In the United States, the Alberta Clipper Pipeline would extend 326 miles from the U.S.-Canadian border near Neche, North Dakota across northern Minnesota to an Enbridge terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.

For more information on action to stop oil sands, check out and the Indigenous Environmental Network
For more information about the Avaaz Action Factory, check out

By Morgan Goodwin and Heather Kangas, Action Factory DC. Photos by Christine Irvine

5 Responses to “Clinton’s Big Decision on Tar Sands”

  1. 1 clipper Jul 25th, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Your luddite philosophy will drive us all back into the dark ages.

  2. 2 Jeremiah J. Johnson Jul 25th, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    You people dont know what your talking about. Im a pipeliner and you people have kept me out of work for over a year and a half. You people are the evil ones.

  3. 3 Kevin L. Johnson Jul 27th, 2009 at 1:40 am

    there’s no good v. evil here, my fellow commentators. no calloused heart for the working-person, or fear of progress. just well-minded folks of different motivations, among many selfless things, wanting water that’s fit to drink and air that’s fit to breath…precautionary principle and all.

    ps. i know of some pipeliner work down on the gulf coast that’s been going on for 2+ years. they still need some hands if you’re interested. (i work in the building trades as well.)

  4. 4 Aletheia S Jul 27th, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Jeremiah, why limit yourself to identifying only as a pipeliner? You are a human. A flexible, ever-changing organism that can learn new skills, can move freely by choice, can shift and change your environment at will, quickly, efficiently. It is a marvel, the human organism. We have such power, such potential. We can choose and change.
    The ecosystem is, on the other hand, is less able to respond to the demands that we are putting on it. The environment CAN shift and change, that is obvious, but the response is much slower…and, ironically, the changes are making it more and more difficult for us to live on this plant.
    Living without a job for a year and a half is devastating. Living without breathable air or drinkable water is impossible.


  1. 1 Celebrity Paycut - Encouraging celebrities all over the world to save us from global warming by taking a paycut. Trackback on Jul 29th, 2009 at 4:46 pm
Comments are currently closed.

About Morgan

Morgan is a wandering climate activist, a job well suited to the editorial board of this site. He organized at Williams College until his aprubt and unfortunate graduation in 2008. There, he was a Chinese major, student body co-president and one of the leaders of Thursday Night Group, the campus climate action group. Since graduating, in no particular order, Morgan has worked on a community energy efficiency campaign in western Mass, co-directed NH SPROG for the SSC and worked on Power Vote in Cleveland. He spent traveled in China, networking with youth climate activists and learning about the solar hot water business. He worked on Long Island for a solar and wind company doing home evaluations and sales. And he spent the better part of a year in DC at the Avaaz Action Factory causing trouble for a good cause.

Community Picks