Encircling the White House & Standing Against Keystone XL

This afternoon, I joined Green Festival regional director Alix Davidson and Green America policy director Fran Teplitz at Lafayette Park, two blocks away from Green America’s offices, and directly in front of the White House, for today’s day of action against the Keystone XL Pipeline.

At the rally before the action, inspirational speakers like Rev. Lennox Yearwood and Tom Poor Bear, vice president of the Oglalla Lakota reminded the crowd of President Obama’s promises as a candidate to break the tyranny of oil.  Rev. Jim Wallis, of Sojourners, likened the United States to an addict with a substance abuse problem, and exhorted protestors to perform an intervention.  And intervene we did!  We had more than enough demonstrators on hand to entirely circle the White House and demand that President Obama block the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Though the State Department has signed off on the trans-national pipeline (which would destroy boreal forests in Canada, and transport a highly toxic and dangerous form of crude across the sensitive aquifers and farmland of the American heartland), the ultimate decision to build the pipeline lies with President Obama.  During the action, there were rumors that Obama had left the White House to drive around the perimeter and view the protest.   His decision is expected by the end of the year.

View our protest photos on Facebook »

Send a message to the president at tarsandsaction.org »

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Restoring a Native Population (our Oct. 2011 green-biz interview)

“Currently, the Great Plains are dominated by cattle and by industrial farming, which are not sustainable,” says Mark Tilsen, co-founder of Native American Natural Foods. “These practices drastically reduce biodiversity, while grazing activity by buffalo actually encourages it. Industrial agriculture increases soil erosion, while the natural prairie grasses that buffalo prefer hold the soil in place.”

To help restore the prairie and the buffalo, Mark Tilsen and Karlene Hunter started a green business that would grow the buffalo population to supply the raw materials for their protein-rich snack bars.

We asked Mark to tell us more about the relationship of the buffalo to the prairie, how his company benefits the Oglala Lakota, and the meaning of the name Tanka…

Full interview here »