Steering Committee Members plan to March Against Keystone XL

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This year, President Obama will decide whether to build the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

This pipeline will carry 830,000 barrels a day of the dirtiest oil on earth for export in the US and internationally by reaching a coastal port. The State Department has said that a decision will likely come after March, as the balance of national interests continues to be weighed.

On February 17th, Y.E.C.A.ers are joining with the tens of thousands who will gather in our nation’s capital, as part of the largest climate rally yet. We’re joining in because we realize, climate change is not just an environmental problem to be stopped by environmentalists. It’s one of the greatest economic and moral challenges of our time.

We are concerned about this project because it’s predicted to contribute significant emissions that may further accelerate the rate of global climate change. It will also further tie us down in our dependence of fossil fuels, instead of moving ahead in our transition to clean energy.

We appreciate the importance of affordable energy for many Americans, as well the jobs it may provide. Our quality of life is very much improved by the ability to work and use electricity. Our generation in particular has a high rate of unemployment, and we have become fond of our many gadgets. Most of us are also paying our own bills and taxes for the first time, on top of loans, so we wrestle personally with this reality.

However, we are also particularly aware of the concerns spoken and shared by our neighbors at home and abroad. We have been told by our Lord that the greatest thing we can do is to love them. To care for the poor and those on the margins is to do these actions unto Him. Therefore, we want to lift up those who are already experiencing sea level rise, flooding, numerous natural disasters, accelerated drought, famine, disease, and temperature extremes.

These burdens are great. We hope that there will be no increase. We seek to engage the use of our faculties to come up with better alternatives. We say that if it is our choice, we chose to say no. We find the pursuit of accessible, affordable energy for all, good. But only where it does not require the sacrifice or oppression of our brothers and sisters, our companion creatures, and the land. We hope that our country will take the lead by choosing a different path, and that the President will reject this pipeline.

If you’d like to take part in this exciting rally with us, email us at:!

About Brittany Bennett

Brittany Bennett is a graduate student in civil/environmental engineering and a laboratory technician at the Catholic University of America (DC). She received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Eastern University (PA), where she led their on-campus environmental organization. She was a student leader with the national student creation care network, Renewal, where she contributed to the publication of two major reports on student creation care efforts across the U.S. and Canada. Brittany is a member of the Y.E.C.A. Steering Committee.