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By Candice Bernd
February 16, 2012
Caption : Organizers collected that many in just 24 hours.     

They were aiming for half a million and ended up with 800,000.

After an unprecedented online action against the Senate’s revival of the Keystone XL pipeline project organized by 350.org and other environmental organizations, the groups hand-delivered about 781,000 (in boxes of 20,000 each) to the offices of the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) on Tuesday.

The action was organized as a response to the revival of the controversial pipeline project in the Senate, where several Republicans are looking to add an amendment to a transportation package that would force the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The online action was aided by Stephen Colbert, who interviewed 350.org Founder Bill McKibben on his Comedy Central show Monday night.

In addition to receiving boxes of signatures at his office, McConnell’s office also took calls from more than 2,000 Kentucky citizens rallying against both mountaintop removal mining and the Keystone XL pipeline.

Signatures were also delivered to legislators in other states—such as Ohio, North Carolina and Maine—in what became a huge showing from those opposing the pipeline, which would carry dirty tar sands from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Nearly every action organized by environmental groups around the Keystone XL pipeline has exceeded its goal.

In August,environmental organizers hoped for 1,000 civil disobedience arrests outside the White House and got 1,200. In November, they hoped to have enough people to surround the White House—they surrounded it three times, and five lines deep in some places. Now, they’ve turned out far more signatures than they hoped in just 24 hours.

Organizers pushing to stop the Keystone XL pipeline may just have to raise the bar next time.

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