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President Obama Risks Alienating Youth Voters Over Oil Pipeline

President Obama Risks Alienating Youth Voters Over Oil Pipeline

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Published by: Luna Media Group on Sep 01, 2011
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, September 1
Media Contact: Brad Luna 202-812-8140 or Brad@lunamediagroup.com 
President Obama Risks Alienating Youth Voters Over Oil PipelineFormer Obama for America youth organizers risk arrest at White House; Joiningmore than 700 already arrested to stop Keystone XL pipeline
Former Vice President Al Gore Joins Outcry on Pipeline; Calls protestors brave
 WASHINGTON -- Talk about an enthusiasm gap: a group of former Obama for Americayouth staffers and volunteers will lead more than 100 people in civil disobedience at theWhite House today to demand President Obama deny the permit for a major new tar sands oil pipeline. Today’s sit-in is the 11th day of the pipeline protest that has led to thearrest of more than 700 Americans and created a major rift between President Obama andhis environmental base.Environmental groups are united in seeing the president’s decision on the pipeline as akey litmus test for the 2012 election, yet the Administration has remained stubbornlysilent on the issue. “Obama won the election because the left, young people who aredisproportionately environmentalists, came out in huge numbers,” Doug Schoen, whowas a strategist for President Bill Clinton, said in an interview with Bloomberg today. “If he doesn’t have the kind of support he had from the left, from young people, fromenvironmentalists, he is not going to be re- elected. It’s as simple as that.” Among theformer Obama for America staff and volunteers risking arrest at 10:30 AM at the WhiteHouse sidewalk on Pennsylvania Avenue tomorrow are:
Courtney Hight, a former Youth Vote Director in Florida and White House Councilon Environmental Quality staffer, now co-director of the Energy Action Coalition:
 "Young people mobilized in record numbers in 2008 to elect a leader they believedwould fulfill his promise. Tomorrow I'm sitting-in with hundreds of other young peopleto call on President Obama to fulfill his promise and stand up to Big Oil. He must rejectthe Keystone XL pipeline; his legacy relies on it."
Danielle Simms, an Obama campaign volunteer from Lynchburg, VA: “
This protestis important to me as an African American because oil refineries are often located near our neighborhoods and hurt our health. I desperately want to see the Obama Icampaigned for, and spent countless days and nights organizing, phone-banking, andcanvassing for, deny the permit for this disastrous pipeline and protect our communities.”
Alex Epstein, a Youth Vote Organizer in Colorado, and campus leader at Universityof Boulder:
“If this pipeline is approved the blame will be squarely on President
Obama’s shoulders, and voters will remember that. The people don't want this pipeline,the Oil companies do, who does Obama represent?”The country’s top green groups, who released a letter last week calling on PresidentObama to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline, have echoed the youth sentiment, raisingthe volume on the possibility of sitting out the 2012 election if the pipeline project goesthrough. “We will see an enthusiasm deficit” toward Obama in the campaign, MichaelBrune, executive director of the 1.4 million-member Sierra Club, said in aninterview withBloomberg News. “We won’t see our members volunteering 20 or 25 or 30 hours a week.We won’t see busloads of people from California going to canvas in Reno, Nevada, or Sierra Club members from Chicago going to Ohio. We won’t see the same passion andintensity.”In a statement yesterday evening on his website, former Vice President Al Gore joinedthe outcry against the pipeline: “The leaders of the top environmental groups in thecountry, the Republican Governor of Nebraska, and millions of people around thecountry—including hundreds of people who have bravely participated in civildisobedience at the White House—all agree on one thing: President Obama should block a planned pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. The tar sands arethe dirtiest source of fuel on the planet.”The proposed 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline would carry dirty, tar sands oil fromCanada to the Gulf of Mexico. A rupture in the pipeline could cause a BP style oil spill inAmerica’s heartland, over the source of fresh drinking water for 20 million people. NASA’s top climate scientist says that fully developing the tar sands in Canada wouldmean “essentially game over” for the climate. President Obama can stop this potentialenvironmental disaster right now with a stroke of his pen by denying the Canadiancompany TransCanada the “Presidential Permit” they need to build the pipeline.###Resources:For more information about Danielle Simms, please see:http://www.tarsandsaction.org/danielle-simms obama-campaign-volunteer-change/ For more information about Elijah Zarlin, please see:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/30/keystone-xl-pipeline-protest-obama-writer-arrested_n_942523.html For more information on the Green Groups letter to President Obama, please see:http://www.tarsandsaction.org/nations-largest-environmental-organizations-stand-

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