WASHINGTON– Hundreds of Keystone Pipeline protestors descended on the Nation’s capital last week to participate in a march from Georgetown University to the White House where they urged President Obama to join in their dissent.
Clad in plastic suits and Captain Planet costumes, the crowd of college students and their environmentalist elders bore clever homemade signs denouncing fossil fuels and equating climate change to class warfare. Though they turned out to protest a variety of “environmental crises,” their hypocrisy stole the show.
“I flew here from Boulder [Colorado],” said one protestor, who later signed a mock petition asking Congress “to pass legislation that would lower the Earth’s temperatures.”
Last January, the New York Times reported that “one round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person.” According to the article’s author, air travel could easily be considered Americans “biggest carbon sin.”
However, the fossil-fuel foes who boasted their decision to travel by greyhound or road-trip in their Toyota Prius, deserve a dose of reality as well. Last year, Climate Central issued a report which stated that “in 39 states, an electric car actually produces more emissions from its manufacture to its 50,000th mile than a gas and electric-powered hybrid.”
Further hypocrisy ensued when the very protesters who claimed the Keystone XL Pipeline’s approval would devastate the economy and lock us into a trajectory of guaranteed job loss, eagerly signed a petition to ban domestic oil drilling in the United States.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2007 and 2012 the oil and natural gas industry “increased by more than 162,000 jobs.” The U.S. Energy Information Administration went further, writing that “beyond within-sector employment, oil and gas industry activity also directly supports output and employment in other domestic sectors, such as suppliers of pipe, drilling equipment, and other drilling materials.”
Rather than supporting the abolition of an industry responsible for massive job growth, perhaps these protestors – who declared concern over reports allegedly linking the pipeline to unemployment – should extol it.
One can only hope they mulled this over on their long, fossil fueled flights home. The protest took place last Sunday.
Gabriella Morrongiello is studying political science and journalism at The George Washington University. She was founding chairwoman of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Oregon State University. Her work has often been featured on Fox News and the Drudge Report.
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