Cross posted from the Southern Energy Network blog.
After learning that Congressman Mack openly supports the Keystone XL Pipeline and would like to see it built, we quickly organized a shadow squad to ask him publicly why he would promote something that could be so devastating to Florida’s Gulf Coast? Last night, two students from Florida Gulf Coast University – Tyler Offerman and Whitney Blair – and myself prepared to shadow Congressman Connie Mack at his Town Hall meeting in Ft. Myers. Previous to this support for the pipeline he promised his constituency that he would stand up to Big Oil and protect our clean air and public health, the economy, and the climate. We knew that we had to call him out on it!
We arrived early, in our green Power Shift shirts and had signs that read, “FGCU says NO to Keystone XL Pipeline,” and scoped it out. Soon after arriving we found out that Congressman Mack’s town hall meeting is not as democratic as we had planned – instead of his constituents being able to line up and speak at a microphone to ask questions or share concerns, Mack went around the crowd and chose who would get to speak. With this in mind, we strategically placed ourselves around the large room and practiced our message together, so if any of us were chosen to speak we would be ready with a really strong ask.