Playing Golf as the Planet Burns: Obama Meets With Oil-Man as Protesters Call for Halt to Keystone Pipeline
By Medea Benjamin
February 18, 2013 |

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org [3].

In parallel universes, President Obama spent his Sunday playing golf at an exclusive Florida gated community while 50,000 Americans poured into Washington DC, calling on the absent president to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline and stand up to Big Oil. In an inspiring rally, indigenous women from the United States and Canada told the crowd how the tar sands and its infrastructure—from Northern Alberta where the oil is extracted to Texas where the Keystone pipeline is under construction—are threatening communities across North America. Canadian indigenous activist Crystal Lameman described how fish in northeastern Alberta have cancerous tumors, moose have “puss bubbles under the skin” and babies are airlifted to the hospital for drinking contaminated water.

Addressing President Obama, speakers said that his decision to accept or reject the 2,000-mile pipeline connecting Canada’s tar sands to Houston’s refineries was the most monumental decision he would make in his presidency.

But whether by design or by coincidence, the President had chosen to spend this very same day swinging at little balls in the warm Floridian sun—with an oil man.

Obama and Tiger Woods were joined on the golf course by a very wealthy fellow named Jim Crane. We all know who Tiger Woods is, but who is Jim Crane? The Texas businessman who hosted the president at his exclusive golf resort is owner of the major league baseball team Houston Astros. But Crane is also mucked up with the very “Big Oil” the activists were railing against. His extensive business deals include a partnership in Western Gas Holdings, a company engaged in gathering, processing, compressing [4] and transporting natural gas and crude oil for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, one of the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas exploration [5] and production companies.

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