Environment
3:10 pm
Sun February 17, 2013

Local Environmentalists Voice Support For National Climate Change Rally

During his State of the Union Address last week President Barack Obama told the nation that now is the time to take action on climate change.

Over the weekend hundreds of Missourians traveled to the nation’s capital to take part in a massive rally  aimed at pushing the president to make good on his pledge.

Sara Edgar is with the Sierra Club and said public awareness for climate issues has been steadily growing.

“I think that we’re definitely reaching a tipping point,” Edgar said. “I think people are talking about it more and more.  I think people realize this is going to take action at every level.”

Locally, environmentalists gathered in Forest Park for a “teach-in” on topics that included opposition to expanding the Keystone Pipeline, which stretches more than 1,000 miles from Canada across several states.

The pipeline already runs through Missouri to refineries in Illinois, but Don Fitz of the Gateway Green Alliance said expanding its length and capacity would only ramp up the release of greenhouse gases.

“Because there will be such massive CO2 releases from processing all the tar sands from Alberta, that’s something that we really feel needs to be stopped,” Fitz said.   

In contrast, Missouri’s two U.S. Senators, Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Roy Blunt, have voiced support for expanding the pipeline.

Because the pipeline crosses international borders, a final decision over its proposed expansion rests in the hands of the U.S. State Department.        

Follow Tim Lloyd on Twitter: @TimSLloyd