Former Obama Staffer Leads White House Protests Against Pipeline | Power Players – Yahoo! News
By By Devin Dwyer, Richard Coolidge, and Jordyn Phelps
Environmental activists are turning up the heat on President Obama as he faces what could be the trickiest decision of his second term: whether or not to approve the controversial proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which could reach his desk this summer. The project, which would transport oil from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, promises jobs and energy. But critics say it will ravage the environment and send oil overseas.
“We put him in the White House because we thought he was the best chance of really making progress on the issue of climate,” the Sierra Club’s Courtney Hight told Power Players. “He’s strongly said that he wants to do something…and this is one of his best opportunities to actually follow through,” she said.
Hight is no ordinary environmentalist. She was one of the first foot soldiers for Obama in New Hampshire in 2007 and later led his campaign’s outreach to youth voters in swing-state Florida. In 2008, she joined the administration as a member of the president’s Council on Environmental Quality, but later quit her post disillusioned by what she saw as Obama’s weak commitment to cleaning up the earth.