Tens of thousands of people marched on Washington over the weekend in the largest demonstration on climate change in the history of the United States.
More than 50,000 people marched through the streets and demonstrated on the National Mall as part of the "Forward on Climate Change" rally organized by the Sierra Club and 350.org. While protesters chanted and held signs denouncing fracking and calling for other environmental reforms, the majority of the protest focused on the transcontinental Keystone XL Pipeline, which seeks to create a 1,700 mile long pipeline taking tar-sand from Alberta, Canada, and pumping it to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Keystone XL is a dirty and dangerous pipeline. It's literally going to cut our country in half, carrying a very dangerous fuel, and it will cause runaway climate change," Maura Cowley of the Energy Action Coalition said to demonstrators. "Young people across the country are the same generation that elected Barack Obama twice now, and we really want to see him reject the Keystone XL pipeline."
Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club shared similar sentiments. "President Obama holds in his hand a pen and the power to deliver on his promise of hope for our children. Today, we are asking him to use that pen to [sic] reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and ensure that this dirty, dangerous, export pipeline will never be built," he said. Brune was arrested last week in a protest in front of the White House against the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Media Resources: CNN 2/17/2013; Huffington Post 2/17/2013; Toronto Star 2/17/2013
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .