The environmental organization 350.org is reporting that more than 40,000 people attended the "Forward on Climate" rally in Washington to call for President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, comparing the march to the movement that elected Obama to office in the first place. Here are the details.
* According to the post by 350.org communications director Jamie Henn, volunteers from around the country organized 130 buses to get people to the rally. Henn reported a large number of students in attendance.
* In addition to 350.org president Bill McKibben and Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, 350.org reported that speakers at the rally included Van Jones, NRDC Trustee and president of Rebuild the Dream; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; Chief Jacqueline Thomas, immediate past chief of the Saik'uz First Nation in British Columbia and co-founder of Yinka Dene Alliance; and Crystal Lameman, Beaver Lake Cree First Nation.
* Jones, who was formerly Obama's green jobs adviser, stated at the rally that Obama's decision on Keystone XL would define his legacy as president, 350.org reported.
* According to the news station KTLA5, hundreds of protesters marched in Los Angeles as part of the greater nationwide demonstration in favor of rejecting Keystone XL.
* The Los Angeles demonstration was led by actor Ed Begley Jr., Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Los Angeles councilman Jose Huizar, KTLA5 reported.
* Reuters reported that in spite of the numbers attending the Washington rally, a new poll by Harris Interactive showed that 69 percents of respondents were in favor of the pipeline, while only 17 were opposed.
* Just days ago, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators called for Obama to approve the $5.3 billion oil pipeline, which would transport 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian tar sands to U.S. refineries, Reuters reported.
* In a Huffington Post op-ed published in early Febuary, actor Robert Redford stated that the weekend rally "is the beginning. The beginning of a real battle, for America's future." Redford went on to add that real economic security is found in clean energy and that the Keystone XL pipeline would "promote one of the most damaging industrial practices ever devised."