Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:04 AM
backtoblue (2,233 posts)
Protests Mount over Keystone Pipeline
Protests Mount over Keystone Pipeline
November 12, 2012
Environmentalists and the oil industry continue to clash over the Keystone pipeline and the plan to pump Canadian tar sands through the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico, amid new reports on the plan’s environmental harm, reports William Boardman.
By William Boardman
In Washington, D.C., the day before the 2012 election, an Occupy action by dozens of protesters blocked the entrance to McKenna Long and Aldridge, a major law firm with the oldest government contract practice in the United States. The firm also represents the Canadian corporation TransCanada, which is seeking U.S. government permission to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast.
Organizers called this demonstration a “Tar Sands Solidarity Action,” in support of the Tar Sands Blockade of the KeystoneXL pipeline now under construction in East Texas. Police arrested four people for refusing to move from in front of TransCanada’s lobbyist’s front door.
A banner hung from a tree in East Texas as part of the protest against the Keystone pipeline, which is intended to carry tar sands from Canada to the Gulf Coast.
Increased non-violent direct action seems to be a harbinger of mounting pressure by environmentalists across the country to persuade President Barack Obama to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline altogether for the sake of the health of the planet.
The President is also under pressure from Canadian officials and the oil industry to give the $7 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline project a green light for the sake of the health of the global economy. Industry supporters continue to claim the project “will create 20,000 shovel-ready jobs,” even though TransCanada chief executive Russ Girling admitted a year ago that the number is false, about three times too high.
That same day before the Nov. 6 election, the environmental side of the argument got scientific reinforcement when a Canadian newspaper reported that government scientists had confirmed 2010 research showing that tar sands contamination was increasing in the region’s precipitation and snowpack. The article went on to describe how Environment Canada, the Canadian environmental protection agency, had worked to suppress the information and prevent scientists from discussing it with reporters or even at scientific gatherings.
In 2011, Environment Canada tried to suppress its own report on widespread river pollution, by stamping it secret. After an access-to-information lawsuit that took six months, the report was released showing the Canadian government’s own projections of the devastating impact of tar sands development on river systems, natural habitats, and the release of greenhouse gases. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers lobbying group said it didn’t see any “new” information in the report.
The President is expected to announce his decision about the Keystone pipeline in early 2013, prompting environmental groups to mount new mass actions now. On Sunday, Nov. 18 in Washington, 350.org is organizing a march around the White House and rally at Freedom Plaza.
That same weekend in East Texas, Tar Sands Blockade is training volunteers for a non-violent action on Monday, Nov. 19, along the pipeline route. Solidarity demonstrations are planned across the country for the week of Nov. 14-20.
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Protests Mount over Keystone Pipeline (Original post)
|Joe Shlabotnik||Nov 2012||#2|
Response to backtoblue (Original post)
Sat Nov 17, 2012, 08:23 PM
amborin (12,163 posts)
5. hope it is not approved; very disappointed that heidi heitkamp favors it...so destructive and the
'creates jobs' argument is not convincing.