Stop construction on all proposed pipelines, not just Dakota Access

The Oct. 3 article by The Hill titled “Unions push Obama to approve Dakota Access pipeline without delay” fails to acknowledge the simple fact that scientists say we can’t afford to build another single pipeline. The risks of catastrophic climate change are just too great. 

The Dakota Access pipeline isn’t special. It’s one of too many proposed pipelines putting profits over people, and they all must be stopped immediately. I’m a high school student and I think we desperately need more leaders like President Obama to take a stand against fossil fuel interests and to block all new fossil fuel infrastructure right now. 

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I already know at my age that investing in new pipelines, like Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project in my community, that carry dirty, dangerous fossil fuels through our nation’s lands is not a wise choice. Of course we need to power our lives — that is not debatable. But, what is debatable is how we choose to do it.

If you were given the option to invest in a brand-new vehicle, would you choose a gas-guzzling SUV or Tesla’s electric Model X? I would choose the electric vehicle every time. Why? Because it is the more responsible choice for my health, my planet and my wallet. 

This same thought process isn’t being applied by our leaders when it comes to energy. Many aren’t making smart decisions for our health, our planet or our wallets. We live in a modern society with healthy, safe and alternative renewable energy choices that are highly competitive with fossil fuels, so why are we staying committed to the fuels of the past? 

The AIM pipeline, just like Dakota Access, would carry its explosive contents through peoples’ communities and it’s not the right choice for our future. Allowing fossil fuel companies to build any new pipelines in 2016 not only puts our lives and safety at risk in the present, it’s also contributing to climate change, something that scientists say is wrecking the planet for current and future generations. 

Thank you, President Obama, for protecting our health, safety and future by moving to halt the Dakota Access pipeline. Please intervene to stop all new pipelines from being built, including the AIM pipeline that would run through my community. 

From Maggie Slein, Scituate, Mass.


Character of neighbors, nation will be tested before inauguration

Now that the election is over, it is time to get on with the peaceful transfer of power from Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Romney: Trump 'has distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character' Biden calls for unity, jabs at Trump in campaign launch MORE to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE. I know the mere mention of Trump’s name makes some people’s blood boil; however, what’s done is done.

Democracy thrives because we are a nation of laws. Going forward, my wish is those who voted for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE, Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonPotential GOP primary challenger: Trump's 'contempt for the American people' behind possible bid The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration Former Mass. governor takes step toward Trump primary challenge MORE or Jill Stein or who didn’t vote at all work within the system to make the U.S. a more perfect union.  The best way to get there is peacefully and thoughtfully. By definition, this means no civil war in the streets and no more congressional dysfunction.   

It is clear to this sixty-something father of three the character of our neighbors and fabric of this nation will be tested between now and inauguration day Jan. 20, 2017. Which means there is one more vote to tally. I’m counting on people’s better angels to win out.   

From Denny Freidenrich, contributor to The Hill, Laguna Beach, Calif.