Hundreds arrested protesting Keystone XL oil pipeline
Protesters hope to persuade President Obama not to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline that would run from Canada to Texas. But the State Department already says its safe, and supporters point to thousands of new jobs.
More than 200 people were arrested outside the White House Saturday following two weeks of protests directed at President Obama in an effort to persuade him to deny final permitting of a controversial 1,661-mile pipeline that would carry oil from Alberta, Canada, to Port Arthur, Tex.Skip to next paragraph
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The arrests follow more than 1,000 arrests made since protesters arrived in late August to conduct sit-ins along Pennsylvania Avenue.
While a White House decision is not expected until December, the protests centered on an environmental impact statement released Aug. 26 by the US State Department that concluded there will be “no significant impact” on natural resources affected by the pipeline route.
If Obama approves the pipeline, it will begin a series of additional permits, approvals and authorizations, with operation set to launch in 2013. The $7 billion, 36-inch pipeline, called the Keystone XL, is expected to deliver 830,000 barrels, or 34.9 million gallons, per day across Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma into Texas.
TransCanada, a leading North American pipeline operator, started operation of Keystone I, a 36-inch pipeline system, in June 2010, making it possible to deliver Canadian oil to markets across Midwest farmland in several states, from the Dakotas through Illinois. Keystone XL will incorporate a section of that existing pipeline in its delivery through the bottom half of the US.
Environmentalists say TransCanada has a failed safety record regarding its pipeline operations.
Federal regulators shut down Keystone I following two leaks, on May 7 and May 29. The first released 400 barrels, or 16,800 gallons, of crude oil in Sargent County, North Dakota. The second involved a leak at a pump station in Doniphan County, Kan., which released 10 barrels, or 420 gallons, of crude oil into the environment. The pipeline was restarted days later.