Huge Climate Change Rally Targets Keystone XL Pipeline

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The environmental organizations Sierra Club and 350.org, along with about 120 partner organizations are planning "the largest climate-related rally in U.S. history" on Sunday in front of the White House. The goal of the rally, according to a post by the Sierra Club, is to demand that President Barack Obama move forward on climate measures including rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, phasing out fossil fuels and promoting energy efficiency and clean-energy sources. Here are the details.

* The groups are planning to have tens of thousands of participants at the rally and have been working to organize carpools, buses and van rides, as well as phonebanks and social media campaigns.

* According to Michael Marx, Sierra Club's Senior Campaign Director of its Beyond Oil Campaign, the first steps that the groups are demanding that Obama take are finalizing strong carbon pollution standards for power plants and rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.

* On a website for the rally, titled Forward on Climate , organizers report that climate change "means more severe storms, floods, and droughts, and increased illness -- and death -- from more severe heat waves and pollution."

* The website states that 40 percent of total U.S. emissions come from power plants and that fossil fuel corporations should be held responsible for their pollution.

* The organizers are calling for a halt in the expansion of fossil fuel exports, including liquefied natural gas export facilities, new coal export terminals and increased oil exports.

* May Boeve of 350.org wrote last week that Superstorm Sandy was a "tragic sneak preview of climate change" but that climate change has slipped off the political radar.

* "That's why it's so important that we make this the biggest action we've ever had," Boeve wrote. "As a movement, we have the opportunity to move the President from words to action on the greatest challenge of our time, starting with the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline."

* In addition to co-sponsoring the rally, 350.org is also currently sponsoring an open letter to the president asking him to end his "all of the above" energy policy.

* "Your support for fracking and drilling, coal mines and pipelines, continues to obliterate the progress you could be making with your administration's gas mileage rule, or your investments in renewable energy," the letter reads. "Even if you finally issue a carbon pollution rule that addresses existing sources of pollution, it will mean nothing if you are simultaneously lighting the fuses on carbon bombs by approving the Keystone XL pipeline, Arctic drilling, or fossil fuel export projects."

* Currently, the letter is nearing its goal of 70,000 signatures, according to the organization's website.

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