Obama
Press
Secretary
Questioned
on
Pipeline
Protest
Aboard
Air
Force
One;
 Thursday
Nearly
100
former
‘08
Obama
Staff
and
Volunteers
to
Protest Washington,
DC
–
During
a
press
gaggle
this
morning
aboard
Air
Force
One,


White
House
Press
Secretary
Jay
Carney
was
questioned
by
pool
reporters
about
 the
two‐week
long
protests
ongoing
outside
of
the
White
House
over
the
 Keystone
XL
pipeline,
called
the
“key
environmental
question
facing
the
President
 in
2012”.

During
the
Q&A
with
reporters,
when
asked
if
he
had
discussed
the
 most
pressing
environmental
issue
facing
the
President
today,
Carney
admitted
“I
 haven’t
talked
to
him
about
it”.
 

In
an
effort
supported
by
nearly
every
major
environmental
group
in
the
country,
 over
500
Americans
have
been
arrested
at
the
White
House
over
the
last
10
days
 in
an
effort
to
stop
a
proposed
dirty
oil
pipeline,
the
Keystone
XL.

"Just
in
the
last
two
days
everyone
from
the
president's
chief
climate
scientist
to
 an
84‐year‐old
grandmother
was
arrested
on
his
front
doorstep,”
said
 environmental
author
Bill
McKibben,
who
is
spearheading
the
White
House
 protest.
“This
is
the
largest
civil
disobedience
action
in
the
environmental
 movement
in
a
generation,
and
if
they
really
aren't
even
discussing
it
with
the
 president,
that
signals
a
deep
disrespect
for
their
supporters,
most
of
them
 young,
who
have
demonstrated
that
the
environment
is
a
top
priority."
 Carney
was
asked
about
the
White
House
protest
this
morning
aboard
Air
Force
 On
en
route
to
President
Obama’s
speech
in
Minneapolis:
 Q:
Also,
anything
on
these
protests
outside
the
White
House
on
this
 pipeline?

Has
the
President
decided
against
TransCanada’s
permit
for
the
 pipeline?

It’s
the
tar
sands
pipeline.

There
have
been
a
lot
of
arrests
outside
the
 White
House
about
it.
 
 MR.
CARNEY:

I
don't
have
anything
new
on
that.

I
believe
the
State
Department
 has
‐‐
that's
under
the
purview
of
the
State
Department
presently,
but
I
don't
 have
anything
new
on
that.
 
 Q:
Is
the
President
aware
of
the
protests?
 
 MR.
CARNEY:

I
haven’t
talked
to
him
about
it.
 

In
fact,
the
decision
whether
or
not
to
build
the
pipeline
rests
firmly
on
President
 Obama’s
desk.
Due
to
the
proposed
pipeline
crossing
the
Canadian‐US
border,
 the
Canadian
company
TransCanada
must
receive
a
“Presidential
Permit”
that
 states
the
1,700
mile
tar
sands
pipeline
is
in
the
“national
interest
of
the
United
 States.”
According
to
Politico,
Washington
Post,
New
York
Times,
and
others,
the
 debate
over
whether
to
grant
TransCanada
a
permit
has
become
the
defining
 environmental
test
for
President
Obama
before
the
2012
election.
 On
Thursday,
nearly
100
former
Obama
staffers
and
young
volunteers
will
be
 risking
arrest
at
the
White
House,
many
of
them
wearing
Obama
‘08
buttons
and
 t‐shirts.
Thursday’s
protests
will
build
off
of
the
arrest
yesterday
of
Obama’s
2008
 fundraising
email
author,
Elijah
Zarlin,
who
warned
that
the
President’s
approval
 on
the
pipeline
would
be
a
“deal‐breaker”.
 “It
will
be
increasingly
difficult
to
mobilize
the
environmental
base
and
to
 mobilize
in
particular
young
people
to
volunteer,
to
knock
on
thousands
of
doors,
 to
put
in
16‐hour
days,
to
donate
money
if
they
don’t
think
the
president
is
 showing
the
courage
to
stand
up
to
big
polluters,”
Mike
Brune,
the
Executive
 Director
of
the
Sierra
Club, told reporters last week.
 
 ###

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