Protests And Civil Disobedience Against Construction Of The Keystone XL Pipeline Continue

By Jessica Goad

This morning near Winnesboro, Texas, three protestors chained themselves to logging machinery used to clear trees in the pathway of the Keystone XL pipeline. It is the most recent in a series of protests designed to delay construction of the southern end of the controversial pipeline.

The northern leg of Keystone XL, which runs from Alberta’s tar sands south to Steele City, Nebraska, is under additional review by the State Department. The Department will likely complete its analysis by early 2013. Transcanada, the company behind the pipeline, agreed to reroute the northern section after major concerns were raised about the impacts it could have on Nebraska’s Ogallala Aquifer.

But construction has already begun on the southern leg of the pipeline, which runs from Cushing, Oklahoma to various refineries in southern Texas.  Construction on the “Gulf Coast segment” of the pipeline began in early August after President Obama directed his administration to “make this project a priority” in March. (A third, middle portion running from Steele City to Cushing is already online).

The group behind today’s protest is Tar Sands Blockade, whose goal is to delay, interrupt, and stop construction of pipeline infrastructure.  The group states on its website that:

We don’t make the decision lightly. The fact is, other tactics – lobbying, petitioning, and packing public hearings – have failed to halt the pipeline. State authorities have bent to every TransCanada desire, and they show no signs of stopping now.

This morning’s protest is the fourth demonstration of civil disobedience by local landowners, climate activists, and young people in Texas. In early September, near Saltillo, Texas, a handful of protesters chained themselves to logging equipment, delaying construction for a day. In August, seven protesters locked themselves to a truck carrying pipe to the construction site, right after Transcanada was allowed to seize private land using eminent domain for pipeline construction. And in early August, organizers hung banners at equipment staging areas in Texas and Oklahoma.

Transcanda has not commented on the protests, although its CEO said in July upon approval of the southern section that “TransCanada is now poised to put approximately 4,000 Americans to work constructing the $2.3 billion pipeline….”

Last September, more than 1,200 citizens were arrested in front of the White House to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. And NASA climatologist James Hansen has warned that exploitation of Canada’s tar sands is “game over for the climate.”

Jessica is the Manager of Research and Outreach for the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Public Lands Project.

4 Responses to Protests And Civil Disobedience Against Construction Of The Keystone XL Pipeline Continue

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Way to go, Texans. We knew you had it in you.

  2. Fannie Bates says:

    It is outrageous that our courts would let TransCanada, a foreign corporation, bulldoze our homes so they can sell tar sands oil to China and Europe. We must support these patriots who are standing up for our property rights.

  3. Allen, KXL Fighter From Nebraska says:

    I was arrestee #147 on the final day of the White House action last September and I was also part of the 12,000+ who surrounded the White house on November 6th, 2011. Doug Grandt, who was arrested in this incident of civil disobedience, is a friend of mine. We in Nebraska stand in solidarity with those in Texas and Oklahoma who are having their land taken through illegal eminent domain proceedings by TransCanada through sham kangaroo court hearings by local judges who are owned by Big Oil.

    Unfortunate, but true, these actions will probably not be enough to gain the attention and justice necessary, and escalation to the next levels will most likely be needed before the rest of the country, and especially Main Stream Media who values the revenue from Big Oil’s commercials more than their duty of getting the truth out to the public at large, takes notice and acts to stop this trampling of our Constitutional Rights, our clean water and of our planet.

  4. Jan says:

    Take someone’s gun and we would all go crazy. Take their land, their water quality and their air, and it’s ho hum. Maybe the Bill of Rights needs an amendment, as the founding fathers didn’t think about the right to live without heat waves, asthma, and floods.