6/14 1:14 PM: Activists protesting a proposed international oil pipeline will rally outside a fundraiser attended by Vice President Joe Biden in San Francisco’s Seacliff neighborhood this evening.
Protesters targeting the Keystone XL pipeline project will begin gathering at about 4:30 p.m. at 25th Avenue and El Camino del Mar.
Guests are expected to start arriving about 30 minutes later for tonight’s Democratic Party fundraiser, which is taking place nearby at the home of Dawn Ross and Doug Hickey, CEO of the San Francisco-based beverage distribution company BinWise.
The proposed pipeline, which would extend from the Canadian border to the Gulf Coast, is described by advocates as a crucial step toward energy independence for the United States but has been adamantly opposed by environmentalists, in part because of concerns about oil spills.
Today’s rally is being organized by environmental groups including 350.org, the Sierra Club, CREDO and others, and could draw as many as 500 people, said Daniel Kessler, a spokesman for 350.org.
Environmentalists fear that the pipeline will also allow for increased mining of Canada’s tar sands, which require intensive processing to produce crude oil. That would produce far greater amounts of climate-altering carbon dioxide than conventional petroleum processing, Kessler said.
“Tar sands oil is the dirtiest oil in the world,” he said.
President Barack Obama, who has sole authority to approve or veto the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline, could announce a decision on it as soon as September, Kessler said.
While Biden’s level of influence on the decision remains unclear, he is viewed as a presidential confidante and has served as something of a trend-setter in the past for the administration on issues such as gay marriage, Kessler said.
“The president has made a number of promises on global warming, and it’s time to make good on some of them,” Kessler said.
White House officials were not immediately saying when Biden is expected to arrive in the Bay Area today.
According to the invitation for this evening’s fundraiser, tickets for the event were running between $500 and $10,000.
Biden’s visit comes just a week after Obama also flew in for Democratic fundraisers in Palo Alto and Portola Valley as well as to give a speech in San Jose about the Affordable Care Act.
Sara Gaiser, Bay City News
6/13 8:38 PM: A week after the president visited the Bay Area for Democratic Party fundraisers, Vice President Joe Biden will be in San Francisco on Friday for the same reason.
Biden will be in the city for a 5 p.m. fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee held at the home of Dawn Ross and Doug Hickey, the CEO of the San Francisco-based beverage distribution company BinWise.
According to the invitation for the event, tickets were running between $500 and $10,000.
Biden is expected to be greeted by protesters from environmental groups who are urging opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline that is being proposed to take oil from the tar sands in Canada across the U.S. to the Gulf Coast.
The groups, which include the Sierra Club, CREDO and 350.org, will be gathering at 25th Avenue and El Camino del Mar in the city’s Seacliff neighborhood near where the fundraiser is taking place.
Biden’s visit to the Bay Area comes just a week after President Barack Obama also flew in for Democratic fundraisers in Palo Alto and Portola Valley as well as to give a speech in San Jose about the Affordable Care Act.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News