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SLU student from Potsdam walks 100 miles to lobby for climate change policy

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POTSDAM - A Potsdam man and St. Lawrence University undergraduate recently walked 100 miles from Camp David to the White House with a hundred other people to urge President Obama to enact his climate change policy by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.

David Smith joined the organization “ Walk for Our Grandchildren” as an opportunity to be part of the change he wishes to see in the world. He sought this walk to better himself and make it known throughout the community that climate change is knocking on everyone’s doorstep.

Smith, who is studying Environmental Studies and Geology, is a strong opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Keystone XL pipeline is a 1,179 mile long pipeline spanning from Alberta to the Coast of Texas.

Opponents of the pipeline have six central reasons to reject the pipeline: the oil is not for American consumption, it will raise oil prices in Midwest, the Alberta Tar Sands release more carbon dioxide than any other form of oil in extracting processes, the tar sands are linked to cancers in First Nations people in Alberta, the amount of jobs proposed from the project are a couple thousand rather than original proposed hundred thousand, and oil companies are uncertain how to clean up this type of bitumen oil-like substance, if spills do occur.

The walk began July 19 at Camp David with 25 thru walkers. The dedicated environmental activists slept on a civil war battlefield, hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail, and walked along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The walk ended July 27 with a couple hundred walkers marching down 16th Street to a rally in Lafayette Park, Washington D.C.

The walk was successful by raising awareness throughout surrounding communities, in which walkers joined local environmental groups to protest a natural gas compressor station in Myersville, Md., and pushed the council of supervisors in Leesburg, Va., to enact their energy plan passed a few years ago. The walk also received plenty of media attention when conducting a nonviolent civil disobedience action at the headquarters of Environmental Resource Management (ERM).

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