Celebrities, Activists Protest Keystone Pipeline Outside White House
Obama urged Congress Tuesday to combat climate change and said if they don’t act, he will use executive authority to cut greenhouse gas pollution and encouraged increased use of cleaner sources of energy.
Actress Daryl Hannah, civil rights leader Julian Bond and lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., were among about four dozen protesters arrested outside the White House.
"We want to send a strong message that we expect the president's ambitions to meet the scale of the challenge and reject a pipeline that carries dirty, thick oil" that contributes to global warming, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune told the Associated Press.
The $7 billion pipeline would transport oil from the sands in Alberta, Canada 1,700 miles to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast, the AP reported.
The TransCanada Corp pipeline would transport 830,000 barrels of crude from the oil sands of northern Alberta, the world's third largest crude resource, to refineries and ports in Texas. TransCanada has been waiting for approval for 4-1/2 years.
Environmentalists say approval of the pipeline will encourage more development in the oil sands, where extraction is carbon intensive, leading to greater greenhouse gas emissions.
The pipeline expansion has been on hold since 2011 when Obama delayed it pending additional environmental review, CBS News reported. The State Department is currently reviewing the extension.
From the AP:
Obama has twice thwarted the Keystone XL pipeline because of concerns over its route through sensitive land in Nebraska, but has not indicated how he will decide on the pipeline now that Nebraska's governor has approved a new route. The State Department has authority over the project, because it crosses an international border, but most observers expect Obama to make the final decision.
A larger rally is planned for Sunday on the National Mall, with at least 20,000 protesters expected in attendance.
Read more of Neon Tommy’s coverage on the Keystone XL pipeline here.
Reach Executive Producer Agnus Dei Farrant here.