Aug 04 2011
Indigenous groups and others will descend on Washington DC this August 20th to protest the planned 2000 mile Keystone XL pipeline. They have vowed to engage in acts of civil disobedience over 2 weeks. If approved, the $7billion pipeline will carry up to 900,000 barrels of tar-sands crude oil a day from Alberta, Canada to Texas and the Gulf Coast. Keystone XL will stretch beneath the surface of Montana and North Dakota before joining with the Keystone 1 pipeline in Nebraska, and resuming in Oklahoma. Indigenous groups and ‘First Nations’ in the United States and Canada argue that the environmental hazards posed by the pipelines violate treaties between tribes and their governments. Waterways and air around the development are at risk of pollution by the chemicals used in the extraction process, and crude oil is harder to clean than refined oil, multiplying the damage inflicted by any spills that may occur. The growing and diverse opposition to the Keystone XL has been largely ignored by lawmakers in Washington. On July 26th, as the House of Representatives was deadlocked in debt ceiling negotiations, House Republicans voted to fast-track the project. President Obama is required to make a decision on it by November 1st. It was already under review by the State Department, which will issue the permit to the owner, Trans Canada Corporation if approved. Opponents have raised alarm over the review process. The Environmental Protection Agency has criticized the State Department for failing to thoroughly investigate the environmental impacts of the development. Once built, Keystone XL would be regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation. However that Department does not review the application or weigh in on its approval. Last week the Washington Independent reported that the director of the regulating agency said it was not prepared to regulate tar-sands crude.
GUESTS: Bill McKibben, one of the nation’s leading environmentalists, an activist, and author of many books including The End of Nature and Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. He is also the founder of 350.org, Marty Cobenais, office manager and pipeline and heavy haul resistance organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network
Comments Off on Indigenous Groups, Environmentalists Plan Massive DC Action Aug 20th Against Tar Sands Pipeline