NEW YORKERS MARCH TODAY ON SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER :
"Don't Break America's Heart, Chuck -- Reject the Pipeline"
By Don Lieber
By Don Lieber
New York, NY
February 14 -- New Yorkers alarmed by a sudden push in the US Senate to force approval of the controversial Keystone oil pipeline have organized a unique "Valentine's Day" message to the senior US Senator of their state, Chuck Schumer, Today they are marching to his office to urge him to reject the new legislation.
"Chuck Schumer should know we are watching him on this vote" said Zack Malitz, a Senior at CUNY, ""and our Valentine's day message is clear: "Don't break our hearts Chuck -- Say NO to the dirty Keystone Pipeline".
The march coincides with a 24-hour social-media petition blitz which has generated more than 600,000 signatures against the pipeline since last night. Later today, representatives from several environmental organizations are planning to deliver boxes containing the signatures directly to Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
The Senate may vote as early as this afternoon on a revised transportation Bill introduced by a small group of Senators including John Hoeven (R-ND) and McConnell, which would reverse President Obama's earlier pipeline rejection.
"Which side are you on, Chuck?" asked Duncan Meisel, a Brooklyn resident and campaign organizer. "Sen. Hoeven has received over $260,000 in contributions from big oil, and McConnell over half-a-million. Their loyalty to big oil stands in stark contrast to the clear public rejection of dirty tar sands oil we are witnessing today by the American people. We hope Chuck Schumer will stand with the people - not with big oil."
One of the most powerful leaders in the Senate, Sen. Schumer has thus far avoided taking a position .
"Sen. Schumer's website states "I believe that community input is critical in deciding how to use and protect our natural resources" said Belinda Rodriquez of Manhattan, another campaign organizer. "Today, New Yorkers, along with the half-a-million other Americans who signed the petition overnight, are giving Senator Schumer all the community input he needs to stand against the disastrous Tar Sands pipeline."
"President Obama did the right thing when he rejected the pipeline in January" said Rodriquez. "We need to know that Chuck Schumer stands with the President, and will not bargain away NY's climate future."
"Congressional approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline is not acceptable", said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, the International Program Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, echoing similar statements from a range of environmental organizations and public interest groups including the Sierra Club and 350.org. "It will create a bad process rushing approval on a tar sands pipeline while the route for the pipeline hasn't even been determined yet and the environmental review process remains incomplete."