democracynow.org - More than 10,000 protesters surrounded the White House on Sunday calling on President Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The protest came exactly a year before the 2012 election and the pipeline is shaping up to be a major political issue. Last week, President Obama said for the first time he will make the final decision on whether to approve the controversial 1,700-mile pipeline proposed by TransCanada, which would transport oil from the Alberta tar sands fields to refineries in Texas. Up until now, Obama said the final decision rested with the State Department. “[Sunday protest] really underlines this has become not only the biggest environmental flash point in many years, but maybe the issue in recent times in the Obama administration when he has been most directly confronted by people in the street,” said leading environmentalist Bill McKibben, a key organizer in the protest, to Democracy Now! Nov. 7.

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