The whole world is looking at us, and you can’t preach temperance from a bar stool.” –Senator Ed Markey


Welcome to the 4th issue of the “No Tar Sands” Newsletter.  



350 Silicon Valley “No Tar Sands” News. is participating in a major rally in Washington D.C. during the last week in April.  Learn more about the rally and mark your calendars for the week-end of April 26 & 27. Learn also about the No Tar Sands sit-in both locally and nationwide.  For these and other stories, Read more...   

Feature Article. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Keystone XL On March 13th, Senator Menendez convened a hearing specifically targeting the Keystone XL pipeline.  To learn how supporters of tar sands are framing their argument, see a synopsis of their comments and a link to their testimonies. Read more...

Feature Video… Senators Expose Harmful Health Impacts of Tar Sands and Keystone XL Pipeline. View this current video on how tar sands development has already created numerous health hazards. Read more...

Our Top Five Hottest Articles. Support for the Keystone XL pipeline is slipping as people begin to understand that it is not in the nation’s or the world’s interests. We’ve included five articles about this and other topics with summaries and links to the entire article. Read more...


Kathy Pimentel and Stew Plock, Editors
Dwight Hobbs, Publishing Guru 
Pierre Delforge, 350SV “No Tar Sands” Team Coordinator




April 27th - “Reject and Protect” Rally in Washington, DC against Keystone XL and its allies are hosting the “Cowboy Indian Alliance”, a coalition of ranchers, farmers and tribal communities located along the pipeline route, for a week-long series of events in Washington, D.C. starting April 22nd. The activities will culminate in a mass march on the white House on Sunday, April 27th. This will be an important opportunity to send a message to President Obama about Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Opposition to the pipeline has brought communities together like few causes in recent history. Read more 

Silicon Valley, SAVE THE DATE: April 26 or 27, 350 SV Solidarity Event.  To support the national day of action against Keystone XL, 350 Silicon Valley is planning a local solidarity event. Save the date and we’ll get back to you with details about the action.

90,000 Strong! Yes, the number of Americans who have signed the CREDO Pledge of Resistance has risen to 90,000, including more than 50 Silicon Valley residents. In over 100 cities nationwide, pledge signers have been trained and are committed to performing mass sit-ins in an effort to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, should the State Department recommend its approval by President Obama.

Next Training Saturday, April 5. The next sit-in training, in San Jose, will be on Saturday, April 5, from 1 until 6PM.  Contact Andrew Bear (at 1andrewbear (at) to learn more about the training and its goals.

San Jose Sit-in Possible early May. The Final Environmental Impact Study on the Keystone XL pipeline was released on January 31. This triggered first a 30 day window for the public to express their views and a 90 day window for governmental agencies to weigh in on the subject. After considering all comments, the State Department will issue a National Interest Determination (NID) which CREDO anticipates will likely be released anywhere from late April to May. What happens if the NID recommends approving the pipeline? Since the ultimate decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline rests in President Obama’s hands, a positive recommendation by the State Department will trigger mass civil disobedience actions locally and around the country in an effort to persuade the president to make the right choice.


FEATURE ARTICLE… Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Keystone XL On March 13th Senator Menendez convened a hearing devoted to the KXL.  Providing testimony against the development of dirty oil were Michael Brune (President of the Sierra Club) and James Hansen (renowned climate scientist).  General James L. Jones (Retired, ex-Commandant of the Marine Corps and currently a paid adviser to the American Petroleum Institute) and Karen Harbert of the U.S. Chamber of Congress, gave testimony in support of the KXL pipeline and tar sands exploitation.

Wait a minute…what’s a career senior Defense leader doing representing the fossil fuel companies, you ask?  And why does the Chamber care about U.S. oil industry interests?  Good questions. To us, the “drill, baby, drill,” testimonies of these individuals border on the ridiculous, nevertheless, it is in our interest to understand our opponents main arguments.  

For one, they insist that opening the Canadian tar sands for full development is necessary in order for the U.S. and North America to become the world’s leading energy supplier. General Jones claims that exploitation of North America’s fossil fuel deposits will make not only America, but the entire world more secure.  How? By providing the energy to fill the void created by fossil fuel sources from Russia, Venezuela, Iraq and other unpredictable energy sources. If we become the fossil fuel provider of choice for the global market, there won’t be as much squabbling over scarce fossil fuel sources and the world will be safer. His whole argument flies directly in the face of the realities of global warming on the stability of the world. (Read more) 

Similarly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, representing mostly small to medium-sized businesses, favors the pipeline and any other means to exploit fossil fuel deposits like the Canadian tar sands claiming that more jobs will be created in a fossil-fuel based economy than in a clean, renewable energy-based economy.  We know that is not the case. (Read more) 

The lively hearing concluded with comments from Senators Menendez, Keene, Markey and Boxer.  During the questioning, it was evident that these senators are firmly in support of bold climate change action on the part of the U.S.  Senator Markey reiterated that the world is watching the U.S. on the KXL pipeline decision.  If we want third world countries to take drastic measures to curb CO2 emissions, we can’t “preach temperance to them while we sit on a (dirty tar sands) bar stool!”


Feature Video…Senators Expose Harmful Health Impacts of Tar Sands and Keystone XL Pipeline

View this current video on the results of new health studies and the health impacts of tar sands development. Watch here.


Our Top Five Hottest Articles

U.S. popular support for Keystone XL pipeline is slipping (Bloomburg) According to a Nanos Research Group, in telephone polling through March 3, the percentage of Americans who support or somewhat support the KXL project fell to 62 percent compared with 74 percent in April 2013. Those opposed to the project climbed to 18 percent of respondents, up from 14 percent, and people who were unsure doubled to 10 percent.

Keystone XL is not in the national or global interest (Climate Science Watch) The State Department's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline environmental impact statement doesn’t include any scenario in which the U.S. comes anywhere close to meeting the Obama administration's climate goals. The study fails to disclose that its conclusions are only valid in the context of American and global climate policy failure. The State Department severely underestimated the pipeline’s impact on increasing tar sands oil production, and the resulting growth in greenhouse gas emissions.

Why the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Matters for Climate (NRDC/Huffington Post) This article examines the baseline assumptions included in the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Study and how they inappropriately relied on an assumption of the inevitability of burning fossil fuel reserves and the likely catastrophic climate impact of that action.

Recent Keystone XL Polling Finds 5 Major Falsehoods Pushed by Oil Industry (Scaling Green) While support for the KXL is declining in the U.S., it’s still pretty strong. Yet this support is based on a series of falsehoods, spread by the very people who stand to benefit from the pipeline’s approval (go figure!).  New polling examines these five falsehoods, and the article provides an explanation as to why they’re false.

Donors or the Senate…Obama’s Choice President Obama recently told a group of governors in a closed-door meeting that he would make a decision on the infamous Keystone XL pipeline within a “couple” of months. What’s it going to be….will he approve the pipeline and lose support of his Democratic base, or reject the pipeline and possibly lose control in the Senate, or will he wait until after the fall election?




Kathy Pimentel and Stew Plock, Editors
Dwight Hobbs, Publishing Guru
Pierre Delforge, 350SV “No Tar Sands” Team Coordinator