Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

BREAKING: Lifelong Oklahoman Youth Pastor Locked to Machinery in Protest of Keystone XL

Energy
BREAKING: Lifelong Oklahoman Youth Pastor Locked to Machinery in Protest of Keystone XL

Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance

Lifelong Oklahoman and youth pastor Stefan Warner, suspended and locked to Keystone XL pipeline construction equipment.

Earlier this morning, Stefan Warner, a youth pastor who was born and raised in Harrah, OK, locked himself to machinery being used to build the toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through Creek land near Schoolton, OK.

Warner is taking action to protect the health of the North Canadian River, communities and land that this pipeline would run through from being irreversibly damaged by diluted bitumen (tar sands) leaks and spills. He is sending a clear message that the current day colonialism and disregard for the health and sovereignty of indigenous peoples in Alberta, Canada, and along the pipeline is unacceptable—from a Christian perspective, as well as a human perspective.

Tar sands pipelines have a horrendous track record: the existing Keystone 1 pipeline leaked 12 times in its first year, and at least thirty times to date. In 2010, the added dangers of tar sands pipelines were demonstrated by Enbridge's Line 6B pipeline spill of more than a million gallons of diluted bitumen into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. The Kalamazoo tar sands spill is the costliest inland spill in U.S. history, draining the oil spill coffers and placing the $800 million and rising price tag onto the backs of local and federal taxpayers. But it is not the monetary burden that weighs heaviest. It is the toll on human life and the health of local ecosystems that is immeasurable, especially the toxicity of the diluted bitumen and undisclosed proprietary chemicals has proven devastating.

In addition to the immense dangers posed by the Keystone XL, TransCanada has been misrepresenting the economic effects of the pipeline. The majority of construction jobs are temporary and have been filled by Wisconsin-based contractor Michel's, not Oklahomans and Texans. Despite TransCanada and the State Department's rhetoric of energy independence, the diluted bitumen transported by the Keystone XL is destined for export to foreign markets after being refined in Gulf Coast refineries, and the Natural Resources Defense Council asserts that the KXL will increase domestic gas prices.

“I grew up in a town where the North Canadian River runs right through, and we can't let the North Canadian become another Kalamazoo," said Oklahoman youth pastor Stefan Warner. “I figure folks have to take action to stop our beautiful Oklahoma from being marred by a foreign corporation, and stand up to fight big corporations who think that poisoning people and stealing land is acceptable so long as they make a profit."

Warner is acting with Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, a coalition of Oklahomans and allies fighting to prevent construction of the Keystone XL which will bring dangerous and toxic diluted bitumen from the biome-consuming tar sands gigaproject to refinery communities in the Gulf. This action comes in the wake of dozens of similar actions which have actively fought construction of the Keystone XL in Oklahoma and Texas. In light of reports of shoddy welding by TransCanada whistleblower Evan Vokes and the recent release of photographs depicting holes in the weld of a pipe buried in Texas, the struggle to keep the Keystone XL from being completed is even more urgent.

Updates

At 8 a.m., direct support for Stefan was arrested without warning and placed in police car. Six other people on site are being detained.

At 9 a.m., six people detained now arrested. Seven police vehicles are on scene. Workers have lowered side-boom in disregard of Stefan's safety and OSHA regulations. Stefan is still locked to machinery but lying painfully face-down on the lowered arm. Police are obscuring Stefan from view and not allowing anyone within photographing distance.

At 9:15 a.m., another individual arrested. This person was not initially detained but was prevented from accessing her vehicle since 8 a.m. Stefan
is still holding strong. It also appears that this action is also blockading an active frack site.

For the latest updates, click here.

Visit EcoWatch's KEYSTONE XL page for more related news on this topic.

——–

David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
Trending
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less
Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, holds up his lab's sample of the whitest paint on record. Purdue University / Jared Pike

Scientists at the University of Purdue have developed the whitest and coolest paint on record.

Read More Show Less

Less than three years after California governor Jerry Brown said the state would launch "our own damn satellite" to track pollution in the face of the Trump administration's climate denial, California, NASA, and a constellation of private companies, nonprofits, and foundations are teaming up to do just that.

Read More Show Less