Protesters target Zuckerberg at Facebook HQ

Protesters will be marching on Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters tomorrow to protest founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s role in a public policy group that seems to be advocating for construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Activists are angry that Zuckerberg’s FWD.us group is running a national TV ad praising and featuring pipeline supporter U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:


“The president says I’m for ‘all of the above’ when it comes to energy,” Graham says in the ad. “Well, those are words coming out of his mouth. They don’t come from his heart. No Keystone pipeline. No drilling in the Gulf. At the end of the day, the economy is not doing well.”

Actually, the ad isn’t from FWD.us directly, but rather from one of its subsidiaries, Americans for a Conservative Direction. Another FWD.us subsidiary, the Council for American Job Growth, is running an ad in support of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, which in part praises Begich’s support for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR):

Critics say Zuckerberg is quietly bankrolling media efforts for what they say are environmentally harmful fossil-fuel projects, even as he publicly claims to be concerned about climate change.

Surely the billionaire social-media mogul knew what he was getting into when he announced the formation of his issue-advocacy group about a month ago – this is the Bay Area, after all.

The march and rally is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., starting at 1401 Willow Road in Menlo Park. It’s organized by Next Step Keystone Action – a coalition including 350 Bay Area and 350 Silicon Valley, Rainforest Action Network, Idle No More, CREDO, Friends of the Earth, and others.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR senile columnist

    These activists ought to recruit the Woolseyite UFO crowd. Hard to say who is less reality -based. These folks should mount their road bikes and ride out for the Dakotas and rural Pennsylvania and ask the pipeline crews to quit their jobs and join the cause.

  • JohnW

    The pipeline hardly seems like the kind of issue Zuckerberg would involve himself in one way or the other. As I understand it, he is with the group and Lindsey Graham because of the immigration issue — where Facebook and the tech community have a huge stake. It happens that the group and Graham also support the pipeline. That’s life.

    The landowners in Nebraska, through whose property the pipeline would pass by way of eminent domain,
    are not too thrilled about it. The tar sand sludge is nearly impossible to clean up if there is a break. I’ve heard the chemicals used to heat the sludge so that it will move through the pipeline is very toxic and would ruin adjacent farm land for years in the event of a leak. Conservatives who were up in arms about the Supreme Court eminent domain case in Belo apparently think its okay in this case, even though the taking is solely for the benefit of a private company.

  • Elwood

    ” the taking is solely for the benefit of a private company.”

    Yeah right. Energy independence for this country and getting it from our neighbor and ally don’t enter into the equation at all.

  • sconosciuto

    “Yeah right. Energy independence for this country and getting it from our neighbor and ally don’t enter into the equation at all.”

    OK then you won’t mind if the government takes your home by threat of force and gives it to ExxonMobil for the common good, right?

  • Patrick

    “Energy Independence”? How do you figure, Elwood? The product arrives in refineries in tax-free zones in Texas, and is then sold to the highest bidder. Some will likely end up in the US; more will be exported. Oil prices predicted, by oil companies, to rise.
    Energy Independence will come from the sun that shines on our land and the wind that blows across it.

  • Elwood

    @ 5 & 6

    Who’s winning the big game on your planet, the fairies or the unicorns?

  • Brian

    I live in Nebraska & what Elwood doesn’t seem to be capable of understanding is that the oil from the pipeline is for export, primarily to China. It will provide only a handful of jobs, temporarily, and is predicted to increase the cost of gas here by 30 cents a gallon. So basically, Elwood wants the American people to give up their land to support China & have us all reward the brokers with an extra 30 cents a gallon. So Elwood, are you a Chinese troll or an American traitor? Which is it?

  • Elwood

    Brian Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Well, I’m not an uninformed idiot like you, Nebraska troll.

    Or more likely you’re one of our home grown ecofreak trolls.

    If you live in Nebraska, I’m the Emperor of the Planet Zbong.

  • Josh Richman

    @8&9 – Actually, Brian’s IP address does indeed put him in Omaha, Neb.

  • Elwood

    @ 10 Josh

    Wow, Josh, your fame has spread nation wide.

    Or at least to Nebraska.

    I wonder if there’s software that can pick out the words “Keystone pipeline” on blogs newspapers etc.

  • Josh Richman

    @11 – Wonder no more.

  • JohnW

    Brian of Omaha may be an alias for Warren Buffett. You never know. Could happen.

    Anyway, Brian of Omaha, not to worry. If the 36 inch pipeline breaks and gets into the Ogallala Aquifer, you can always melt down the sludge and try using that for irrigation and drinking “water.” It probably has a zingy taste to get you started in the morning.

    What’s important is that this will beef up profits for the under-utilized Flint Hills heavy crude refinery in Texas. Did we mention that Flint Hills is a subsidiary of Koch Industries?

  • GV Haste

    I say let the Keystone pipeline go through.

    I can’t be overly concerned about these folks in Nebraska who have stuffed mandated ethanol down our throats for over a decade.
    Ethanol a economic and environmental sham, all foisted on us in Califorina so that corn farmers make us pay for a product that doesn’t help one bit.

    Now they’re screaming about a small possibility of a regional short term leak.
    Mean time, we’re forced to use the rotten ethanol 365 days a year, year after year.

    Build the pipeline. Either way, the oil gets used by truck or by pipeline.

  • JohnW


    I doubt that any of us on this blog, me included, is really equipped to evaluate the pros and cons and costs and benefits of this pipeline. I started out with a civilian’s “why not” attitude. However, the more I hear about this, the more I sympathize with those who oppose it.

    Unlike light crude, there is no such thing as a “short term” leak with this stuff. My understanding is that the sludge itself and the toxic chemicals used to move it through the pipeline take forever to clean up, as demonstrated by the disatrous tar sands oil spills in the Arkansas and Kalamazoo rivers. The threat to the Ogallala Aquifer, which is fresh water supply for several states, seems very real. The aquifer is just beneath the surface, so it is not difficult to envision it being easily and permanently contaminated.

  • Elwood

    @ # 10 Josh

    Things are going well here on Zbong.

  • Josh Richman

    @16 – Send me a postcard.

  • RR senile columnist

    Re John W: handling the pros and cons of Keystone supposedly is the task of the federal gov’t

  • JohnW


    Ah, well, that doesn’t stop us lowly citizens from engaging in debate on the subject, informed or not.