Thanks to committed activists like you, the Beyond Oil Campaign has had an amazing year of successes. I just wanted to take a moment before the holidays to reflect on the victories we’ve shared thanks to your efforts. Here are thirteen of the biggest successes of 2013 (out of many more!):
|1) Keystone XL Delayed Five Years – 2013 marks the fifth year of delay on the Keystone XL pipeline. While the fight isn’t over yet, thanks to activists like you, 200 million metric tons of carbon pollution have been kept out of the atmosphere to date.2) Forward on Climate Rally – 50,000 braved the cold last February in Washington, D.C. to be a part of the largest climate rally in U.S. history, and to tell President Obama to reject Keystone XL and move forward on climate.
3) 1.2 million public comments opposing Keystone XL – Last spring, an incredible number of concerned citizens submitted public comments to the State Department opposing Keystone XL — and more than 200,000 of those comments came from Sierra Club members and supporters like you.
4) 37 local events – Sierra Club activists showed up to at least 37 events attended by President Obama, Vice President Biden or Secretary of State Kerry to remind them that Keystone XL would be a climate disaster.
5) President Obama’s climate speech – In June, President Obama gave an important speech on climate disruption at Georgetown University. Thanks to your efforts, he framed Keystone XL squarely as a climate issue, and declared the pipeline wouldn’t be in our national interest if it significantly exacerbated the problem of carbon pollution.
6) Big support for stronger rail oil tanker safety standards – Concerned citizens from across the country submitted more than 100,000 public comments in support of stronger rail oil tanker safety standards, to prevent future disasters like the devastating derailment explosion that killed 47 in Quebec in July.
7) Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline now needs presidential approval – Thanks in large part to public pressure from activists like you, the State Department will require a presidential permit to expand the Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline, which would allow it to carry more tar sands than Keystone XL! This will ensure we get a chance to have our voices heard before any decision on this pipeline is made.
8) Keystone XL bias exposed – After strong public pressure, the U.S. State Department’s Inspector General launched an official inquiry into conflicts of interest relating to the close oil industry ties of the company entrusted with writing the environmental impact assessment for Keystone XL.
9) Opposing an oil export terminal – More than 31,000 public comments were submitted to the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) opposing a dangerous oil export terminal at the Port of Vancouver, Washington — that’s 20 times as many comments as that agency has ever received for a comment period!
10) Youth leaders fired up – At Power Shift 2013, more than 7,000 top student activists came together to rally against Keystone XL and demand action on climate!
11) Corporate oil-guzzlers put on notice – We launched a campaign to push some the largest corporate users of oil, like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, to slash their oil consumption and reliance on fuel from toxic tar sands. More than 65,000 people emailed the CEOs of these companies, and more than 5,000 people have pushed the companies on Facebook and Twitter.
12) Electric cars in the fast lane – In September, we helped organized National Plug In Day events in 98 cities with more than 36,000 people in attendance, thousands of test rides taken, and 150+ media hits. By the end of this year, there will be more than 165,000 EVs on U.S. roads, with more than a 40% increase in sales this year over last.
13) Stronger vehicle emissions standards – Sierra Club activists like you submitted 62,000 comments to the EPA in support of stronger “Tier 3” vehicle emissions standards — smashing our original goal of 50,000 comments. Thanks to this strong public pressure, the EPA is set to finalize these standards early next year.
None of this would have been possible without the dedication of activists like you. We’re looking forward to continuing this amazing progress in 2014, to make sure next year is the year that Keystone XL gets rejected once and for all, and that we take more historic steps to move beyond oil.
Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director