Look what these ‘Anybodies’ told Obama about the Keystone XL

by Franke James

When I published my story, ‘What can “Anybody” tell Obama about the Keystone XL?’, I called on ‘Anybody’ to join me in writing to President Obama. Lots did! Over 1,200 people have written to the President from my story. (You can see their names listed in the book I delivered to the CEQ office in Washington, DC.)

But a few ‘Anybodies’ penned original letters to compel the President to say “NO” to the Keystone XL.


One Anybody kept it short and punchy:

Please say “NO” to the Keystone XL pipeline.
It’s a bad idea that puts off real solutions to our energy problems and pressing global environmental problems. Tom Shepard, Registered Democrat and Obama Supporter
Houston, Texas

One Anybody spoke of Canada’s failure, and the U.S.A.’s opportunity for leadership:

Dear President Obama,

I’m a Canadian who is ashamed and disappointed by my government’s continued enthusiasm toward the exploitation of the Alberta oil (tar) sands. The Harper government does not represent my views about climate change or environmental protection and it does not listen to the people who are concerned about pipelines, continued tar sands development or many other environmental issues. My hope is that you will see the immense folly that this pipeline represents for the future of our shared global climate. My hope is that you will take a long-term view and do what is right for citizens, not a short-sighted view that sides with corporations. The short-term profits to be gained from this pipeline will pale in comparison to the dollars that will have to be spent as we deal with ongoing climate crises. We’ve seen extreme weather, resulting from our changing climate, brutalize our communities already. I do not even want to imagine what continued tar sands exploitation will do to our climate, to our future and to our children’s and grandchildren’s future. You have the power and ability to make a decision on this project that will change the world. Please make the right decision.

With hope,

Carly Armstrong,
Peterborough, ON, Canada

One Anybody demanded, “It is up to people like you and me to do what we can to change this unsustainable consumption of fossil fuels!”

President Obama,

Regarding the XL Pipeline decision you recently said,“What we need in this fight are citizens who will stand up, and speak up, and compel us to do what this moment demands.”

I am a citizen and I say no – do not approve the Keystone XL pipeline! I am writing similar letters to Secretary Kerry and my congressmen because Keystone is a very bad idea for the people and the planet.

You also said that your approval of the Keystone XL hinges on whether it makes carbon pollution worse. The quick answer is that it does, unequivocally.

I have studied and worked to advance energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy ever since my epiphany in a gasoline line during the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo. At that time I was a senior in high school in Massachusetts, waiting 90 minutes to gas up to go on a date! I missed my date, but I gained passion and a career: at that point I committed to help wean the U.S. from polluting fossil fuels. As a result, I pursued an education in economics, environmental science, architecture, engineering, and planning – all to support my drive to wean us from fossil fuels and reduce our nation’s carbon footprint.

I have worked in the electric utility industry and energy consultancy for decades. I have directed R&D for the Electric Power Research Institute and have consulted on energy efficient systems and sustainable development for over 40 million square feet of new and existing buildings around the world. I have worked with Fortune 50 companies, U.S. States, municipalities, universities, and myriad federal agencies in these efforts.

I have studied carbon’s impact on the environment for decades and I can unequivocally state that anthropogenic fossil fuel consumption is radically accelerating climate change to a degree that will challenge the existence of humans and other forms of life on this planet.

I am currently leading a unique public-private partnership with Ameresco, Arizona State University, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and NREL to drive ASU to climate neutrality by 2025. As Director of Carbon Neutrality Initiatives for Ameresco I am leveraging amazing resources and a tremendous team to do something that hasn’t been done before. This is incredibly important work, for it will demonstrate ways to achieve aggressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction goals to humanity. This effort is being made possible by the excellent LEADERSHIP and commitment from Dr. Michael Crow (ASU), George Sakellaris (Ameresco), and Amory Lovins (RMI).

WITHOUT LEADERSHIP WE CANNOT SUCCESSFULLY FIND SOLUTIONS TO ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMINGwe need your leadership on this issue now! You must commit to NOT approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

This effort has become quite personal. I have five children, one 2-year-old granddaughter and three more grandchildren on the way this year! I am seeing the impacts of AGW on our climate today. I know that my children will have to deal with this increasingly in the future, no question. I fear that if only some of the IPCC predictions come true over the next 50 years that my grandchildren will be living in a world that is seriously impacted by climate change. This is unconscionable! It is up to people like you and me to do what we can to change this unsustainable consumption of fossil fuels! We owe it to our children and our grandchildren…

Please President Obama, live up to your own commitment and say NO to the Keystone XL.


Mark Wilhelm,
Glendale, AZ, United States

And one Anybody issued a visual invitation to Obama to come visit:

Dear President Obama,

You said you are willing to work with “ANYBODY” to combat the threat of climate change on behalf of our kids.

Well, we are ANYBODY and this is OUR KID…drinking from one of the 4 wells on our place. 4 of the 2400+ in the state of Nebraska and less than 2 MILES from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route.


We would like to cordially invite you, your lovely wife Michelle and your 2 daughters Sasha and Malia to come and drink from this same well. The water is sand filtered and UNBELIEVABLE.

Sir, we’ve supported you in the hopes of your supporting us. Please include the decision to deny the keystone pipeline as a milestone in your administration. You must know it is not in the best interest for our children!


someday honey i hope   shirt[2]


Trudy L Waterman, Guy Polenske & Shaeden Polenske
Boyd County, Naper, NE

p.s. Please call ahead so I have time to “pick-up” the house!

Credits: Photos by Trudy L Waterman.

If Boyd, Nebraska rings a bell it could be because of the farming county’s remarkable resistance to a nuclear waste dump. That story is the subject of a 2007 book by Susan Cragin, “Nuclear Nebraska: The Remarkable Story of the Little County That Couldn’t Be Bought“.

Related Post:

How a ‘Somebody’ in DC got my ‘Anybody’ #NoKXL book for Obama
photo of Franke James by David Dufresne

4 Responses: 4 Comments

  • Rosario Bi says:

    thank you all

  • michel gadoury says:

    Harper, businessman, is destroying and poisoning our Land in the name of greed. We are Canadian and we love nature more than tarsands. His Parliament majority is based on a minority of voters by cheating and lying to the people.

  • Shanon White says:

    We are against this project. How can you even dream of bringing it here after seeing the pictures of what it has done to Canada! Stop it now before our ground water and environment is affected.

  • Lois Vogt says:

    We live even closer to the proposed pipeline and like Trudy, Guy, and Shaeden, my family and I also enjoy the clean water out here in the Sandhills, and yes, it is still the sandhills even though there are those who tell us that moving the pipeline route moved it out of the Sandhills. I also would like to invite the lawmakers of this nation, the senators in Congress, to come on out an enjoy the unspoiled land that Keystone is proposing to ruin, land and water. I can guarantee this pipeline is not a great deal with lots of job and money coming into the area. IF it was true, Lincoln and Omaha would be fighting over it and us little guys out in the country wouldn’t have to worry about the contamination of our land and water. I want to leave this land the way it is so my grandchildren can also enjoy it. Please, No KXL!!!