The Evil At Our Door

When the odds were ten to two, darling I went down and fighted for you. Though I’m leaving in the morning to meet the evil at our door, I will return to you my darling… You are the one I fight my battles for, you are the one that I adore.

These are lyrics from my favorite song this summer, Battles by The Smart Brothers.

It’s a love song, but I also hear a call to action, a call to protect that which we care most about.

The Keystone XL pipeline, and the tar sands extraction it would spur, is so obviously one of the worst actions the United States could take with regard to climate change, not to mention all the communities along the pipeline route whose water and ecosystems would be threatened by crude oil spills. Today, leaders of the largest environmental organizations in this country united to release a letter calling on President Obama to block the Keystone XL pipeline.  You know when Environmental Defense Fund teams up with Rainforest Action Network that something big is in the air.

The tar sands industry has been trying for years to send tar sands crude to American refineries, and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, in James Hansen’s words, would be game over for the climate.  The predecessor to Keystone XL, the Keystone pipeline, has already had 15 spills in the United States and over 20 spills in Canada since it became operational last year.  The Enbridge pipeline dumped 800,000 gallons of tar sands crude into the Kalamazoo River, and the pipeline that spilled 42,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River also carries tar sands crude (a full list of pipeline accidents can be found here).

Citizen's Protest the Keystone XL Pipeline outside the White House.

President Obama himself, without any influence from Congress, can make the decision to deny or approve the Keystone XL permit. Since Saturday, 275 people have been arrested for protesting the Keystone XL pipeline outside of the White House, calling on Obama to deny the permit.  If this is not an act of love to protect our neighbors, country and planet from the tar sands evil at our door, I don’t know what is.  And it is incredibly encouraging that the environmental leaders who sent the letter to Obama said “there is not an inch of daylight between our policy position on the Keystone Pipeline and those of the very civil protesters being arrested daily outside the White House.”

If you have the means, please join our brothers and sisters in DC through September 2nd to urge Obama to stop the pipeline.

For folks who cannot travel to DC to participate in the protests, please contact the White House Comment Line.  Call 202-456-1111 between the hours of 9AM and 5PM Eastern, and say “The tar sands represent a catastrophic threat to our communities, our climate, and our planet. We urge you to demonstrate real climate leadership by rejecting the requested permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and instead focus on developing safe, clean energy.”

You are encouraged to call the White House Comment Line as many times as you would like! If you want to learn more about the tar sands action, visit

And I’m leaving in the morning, to meet the evil at our door…You are the one I fight my battles for, you are the one that I adore.”

About Juliana

Juliana Williams grew up in Washington state and began organizing at Whitman College in 2004, working to get her campus to purchase renewable energy. She volunteered with the Sierra Student Coalition and help found the Cascade Climate Network. Following that, she lived in Iowa for two years, working as the SSC's Great Plains Organizer with amazing students in MN, IA, MO, NE and SD. After working with the Breakthrough Institute she is now pursuing her Master of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. She is an avid ultimate player, plays string bass and spends way too much time on wikipedia.

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