Quantcast

TransCanada Starts Construction on Southern Keystone XL Pipeline Route

Energy

Public Citizen Texas

by Carol Geiger

Early this morning in East Texas, organizers braved bulldozers to unravel a banner reading: “No Tar Sands In Texas."

TransCanada has begun construction of the southern Keystone XL in Oklahoma and Texas. While they tried to keep it quiet, the Tar Sands Blockade is there to greet them.

TransCanada is carelessly moving forward with construction and trying to keep it quiet. Important legal cases are still pending regarding their use of eminent domain, and they have failed to conduct environmental review of the southern Keystone XL pipeline route.

TransCanada plans to clear-cut countless acres of East Texas forest in order to pipe tar sands oil across rivers, streams and land that many landowners are claiming was seized via an abuse of eminent domain and contract fraud—all to export oil overseas.

TransCanada’s last pipeline spilled 12 times in its first 12 months of operation. During a summer of record heat, and an unprecedented drought, the last thing Texas needs is a tar sands pipeline that could ruin valuable water supplies with toxic oil spills.

In order to halt the onslaught of this international company’s plans to pillage their way across the landscape of the great state of Texas, we have learned that the Tar Sands Blockade, a grassroots-led campaign using non-violent civil disobedience, has initiated a plan to stop construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. They have organized landowners, environmentalists, tea partiers, occupiers and more to stop this disaster-in-the-making in imaginative ways.

Here's Tar Sands Blockage live blog post:

As TransCanada quietly breaks ground on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, landowner advocates climb atop stacks of pipes in an East Texas construction yard. Organizers unfurled a banner and flew a “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden Flag to demonstrate the diverse and unlikely alliance of environmentalists and Tea Partiers who oppose Keystone XL.

“TransCanada is putting families that wanted nothing to do with this pipeline in harm’s way,” said Ron Seifert, Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson. “Since our leaders and representatives will do nothing to protect our friends and neighbors, the Tar Sands Blockade is calling for people everywhere to join us and defend our local communities from a multinational bully.”

The message remains clear, people across the political spectrum, from Tea Partiers to environmentalists are uniting to TransCanada that while this project has started, we will not allow it to be finished.

“In the midst of record heat and drought, this just adds insult to injury,” says Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. “More risk, more carbon, more heat—all the things farmers and ranchers don’t need.” This is a risk we can’t afford to take.

Planned events today include actions in Dallas and Houston, Texas, and Cushing, Oklahoma, in solidarity with landowners who say TransCanada has bullied and manipulated them through the use of eminent domain for private gain. Stay tuned for more breaking updates as this story unfolds.

“TransCanada lied to me from day one,” says Susan Scott, a local landowner in East Texas whose land was expropriated. “I worked 37 years for my farm, and TransCanada believes it is entitled to a piece of my home.”

Organizers with the Tar Sands Blockade are taking a stand, demonstrating their commitment to protect the public’s health, safety and constitutional rights, and to preserve the integrity of the environment that supports local communities across the region.

Plans to integrate the proposed southern segment the existing Keystone system would allow extractors in Canada to transfer a toxic tar sands slurry directly to the export market in the Gulf Coast. This expansion of the petrochemical industry will pad the pockets of Gulf Coast refineries–operating in a foreign trade zone to escape state and federal taxes–while endangering hundreds of communities between Cushing, OK and Port Arthur, TX.

The Blockade is proud to be a part of the burgeoning Summer of Solidarity direct actions against fossil fuel extraction across the nation. Residents defending against mountaintop removal coal strip-mining in West Virginia, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, as well as coal exportation from Montana are confronting abuse and contamination on the part of dirty energy industries operating in their communities.

Watch this video of a Texas Landowner halting TransCanada surveyors in their tracks:


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

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Aerial assessment of Hurricane Sandy damage in Connecticut. Dannel Malloy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.

Read More Show Less
Giant sequoia trees at Sequoia National Park, California. lucky-photographer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
This aerial view shows the Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Stadium, one of the venues for 2019 Rugby World Cup. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.

Read More Show Less
Vera_Petrunina / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Wudan Yan

In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."

Read More Show Less
Volunteer caucasian woman giving grain to starving African children. Bartosz Hadyniak / E+ / Getty Images

By Frances Moore Lappé

Food will be scarce, expensive and less nutritious," CNN warns us in its coverage of the UN's new "Climate Change and Land" report. The New York Times announces that "Climate Change Threatens the World's Food Supply."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
British Airways 757. Jon Osborne / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Adam Vaughan

Two-thirds of people in the UK think the amount people fly should be reined in to tackle climate change, polling has found.

Read More Show Less
Climate Week NYC

On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.

Read More Show Less

By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans

Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.

Read More Show Less