Winter came early this year.
The elections were terrible, especially for Colorado, and with them came sudden snow and even more bad news: there would be a vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline on the Senate floor in only a matter of days. And our junior senator — a key swing vote for the country — Michael Bennet, was poised to vote in favor of the pipeline. We all shivered.
We know the science and we know that Senator Bennet knows the science. We know that finishing the Keystone XL Pipeline would mean 35 full time jobs in exchange for a whole heck of a lot more tar sands mining and refining, disturbing natural habitats and indigenous lands and speeding up the clock measuring the small amount of time we have left to turn this climate crisis around.
On his own website he states
“We take for granted our access to clean air and clean water, but those precious resources will dwindle if we continue to let politics stand in the way.” – Senator Michael Bennet
So why in the world would he vote in favor of this climate bomb? Why let one senator’s runoff race determine the future of our planet?
This morning we showed up at his office in Denver to ask just that. Senator Bennet, if you’re not a climate change denier, why would you vote like one?
On a freezing cold Monday afternoon in November with only a couple day’s notice, 200 people from over 20 local groups showed up to voice their opposition to our senator’s stance on the pipeline.
They should know to expect us at this point. The singing and fanfare, the protests and chants, the letter writing and phone calls…all from mothers, sons, faith communities, First Nations leaders, artists, working families; we were (and are) all represented today.
Here is a short list of some of those groups:
- 350 Colorado
- 350 Denver
- 350 Boulder County
- 350 Central Colorado
- Americans for Conservation + the Arts
- Clean Energy Action
- Climate Colorado
- Earth Guardians
- Eco-Justice Ministries
- Empower Our Future
- Food & Water Watch
- Fossil Fuel Free Denver
- Frack Free CO
- Kids Against Fracking
- Pledge of Resistance Denver
- Pledge of Resistance Lakewood
- Protect Our Loveland
- Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center
- Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter
Time and time again we have responded to these threats and time and time again we’ve been able to make a difference, to hold our elected officials accountable for their bad choices or even outright change their minds and their votes.
Will we be able to do that in this vote tomorrow? Or has our senator decided to abandon reason and facts in favor of industry written reports that favor oil and gas?
What it really boils down to is this:
If you care more about keeping your job than meeting the responsibilities of your job (ie: representing the will and well-being of the people), should you really get to keep your job?