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Posted on February 4, 2014 | 4:06 p.m.

Santa Barbara Vigil Sheds Light on Climate Change, Keystone XL Pipeline

Source: Robert Bernstein, Noozhawk Contributor

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night in De la Guerra Plaza to raise awareness on climate change.

There were two important messages: yes to clean energy, and no to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Speakers explained that the important issue with the Keystone pipeline is not the local environmental risk to the places it would pass through, though that is certainly an issue. The main issue is the devastating impact it would have on the global environment by releasing vast amounts of carbon from Canadian shale oil projects.

One reason for this rally now is the release of a new environmental impact statement on the impacts of the pipeline. Some claim it shows little impact, but in fact the report shows that the pipeline would allow the release of an additional 27 million metric tons of carbon a year. That is the equivalent of adding 5.7 million cars to the road.

President Barack Obama has pledged that he will not approve the pipeline if it in fact would have a significant effect of increasing greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change.

Vigil speakers asked people to call President Obama to stop the Keystone pipeline. He has that power.

They also asked people to contact their elected officials to support clean, sustainable energy. And to get involved by joining and supporting organizations like, which are working to stop climate change through these means.

Click here for more photos from the event.

Robert Bernstein is a local photographer and frequent Noozhawk contributor.

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