Nearly seventy Americans were arrested after a peaceful protest in front of the Whitehouse against the construction of TransCanada‘s Keystone XL pipeline, a 1,700 pipeline that would carry unprocessed bitumen from Alberta to refineries in Texas. The peaceful protesters reportedly received longer sentences than were expected.
As noted in a New York Times editorial this weekend, opposition to the pipeline is concerned about the risk of oil spills along the pipeline and the levels of greenhouse emissions emitted by oilsands production in Alberta (the New York Times editorial also refers to Alberta’s Energy Minister Ron Liepert as “Ronald“, a hilarious editorial change that may soon also be reflected on this blog).
The pipeline has the support of many congressional Republicans and the tacit support of United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has said that she is “inclined” to support it. The U.S. State Department will decide whether to approve or reject the pipeline by the end of the year.
National Geographic Magazine is suggesting that Chinese interests in the construction of Keystone XL could help alleviate the pressure to build a pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia’s Pacific coast. In Lincoln, Nebraska, the Journal Star is suggesting that rail may be a better alternative to the Keystone XL pipeline.
It seems to me that instead of pumping our unrefined bitumen from northern Alberta to Texas factories to do the job, maybe we should be refining our own resources in Alberta.
Here are some photos from this weekend’s peaceful protest in Washington DC, care of tarsandsaction: