ROCKFORD -- Protestors marched along the Sinnissippi Bike Path today advocating passersby to say 'no' to the Keystone XL Pipeline project. If completed, it would extend from Canada through the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico.
Forest City 350 Organizer Jim Roberts says, "President Obama said that if there was...damage to our environment, because of the Keystone Pipeline, he would not support it. So we're here to say to President Obama that there is environmental damage!"
Jessie Crowe-Mermel, another event organizer explains, “The Keystone Pipeline would be about the equivalent of having 12 new coal power plants build and 3.5 million cars more on the road each year. So, it would be devastating to the climate."
Roberts implores, “We have no future in fossil fuels. The only future we can really have is in renewable energy."
Crowe-Mermel explains the strategic protest route, "We chose to go to the Nicholas Conservatory because with the solar panels and geothermal and green roof, it represents some positive alternatives to tar sands and fossil fuel development."
She also says that this isn’t just about climate change but also about water preservation: "This pipeline is going over the Ogallala Aquifer which is responsible for millions of people's drinking water."
One of the protesters, M.L. Wright, is extremely concerned about the water issue too: "If it spills into the water aquifers, I mean, how many states are going to be without water?”
Crowe-Mermel is happy with the turn out. "I think we have between 50 and 60 people here, but this was just one of over 200 different actions across the United States."
Roberts sums it up: "Today, in particular, on International Day of Peace, maybe we can find a way to have peace with our planet, with the environment, with the creation."