By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — A candlelight vigil to protest the Keystone XL pipeline project will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Port of Port Angeles offices.
Olympic Climate Action's vigil is part of a national day of protests against the Keystone XL pipeline environmental report announced Friday.
The vigil at the 338 W. First St. offices will call on President Barack Obama to reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline following the release of the State Department's Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada through the central United States to refineries in Texas, is part of an extraction process of massive fossil fuel deposits known as the “Alberta tar sands.”
Oil transported in the pipeline will not be made available to consumers in the U.S.
The U.S. State Department released an environmental report Friday, which said the pipeline will have no significant environmental impact in regard to greenhouse gas emissions.
In a statement, the group quoted NASA scientist James Hansen as saying extracting the fossil fuels in the Alberta tar sands means “game over” for the climate.
“We are for a sustainable world, one where all people, both now and into the future, have access to a decent livelihood. There is work to do conserving energy and producing it more sustainably. We cannot let the oil age preclude a future for our descendants,” the group said in its statement.
Olympic Climate Action's members will lead the Port Angeles vigil in “mourning” the decision.
“It's really an overwhelming problem. Coming together as a group is more successful than sitting around worrying about it,” said Ed Chadd, a founding member of the action group.
Participants in the vigil are encouraged to dress warmly and bring a candle.
Candles will be provided for those who don't have one, Chadd said.
“We don't know what else to do. We're really worried about what's going to happen to our kids and grandkids,” he said.
The organization chose to hold vigil in front of the Port of Port Angeles office to remind residents that parts of the fossil fuel extraction infrastructure exists in the Port Angeles community.
Oil tankers frequently use port facilities for repair and fueling.
“Port Angeles harbor has been a working harbor for millennia,” the group said.
“Work does not depend on oil. Rather, we recognize there are no jobs on a dead planet.”
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.