Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline are proclaiming victory Wednesday after several protesters chained themselves to equipment set to be used to clear trees from the pipeline’s route in Texas.
But project officials contend the demonstration did not impact construction of the pipeline between Cushing’s oil storage hub and refineries on the Gulf Coast.
“Even though we have all the necessary permits and approvals to build the Gulf Coast Project and have followed all laws of the state of Texas, there are some who will not accept that the project is legally allowed to proceed.
Their claims that they disrupted construction are false.
The reality is protesters attached themselves to equipment located on a private landowner’s property that belonged to a third-party contractor. The equipment was not in use today. Construction activity was not disrupted and continued as planned elsewhere.
It is unfortunate that this handful of individuals – and the groups supporting them – are spending so much time and energy trying to prevent hard-working Americans from providing for their families by building the Gulf Coast Project. The Gulf Coast Project is creating jobs that help several thousand American workers use their skills to build an important piece of energy infrastructure, and that energy infrastructure is going to keep Gulf Coast refineries full with a reliable supply of crude oil.
Regardless of some people’s misinformed opinions about this pipeline, we hope that they will conduct themselves in a way that respects the safety and security of our work sites and the employees and contractors working there, not to mention their own personal safety.
It’s important to note that in coordinating with local law enforcement agencies regarding today’s event, protesters were treated with respect, no arrests were made, and no injuries were reported,” developers said.
The latest action by Tarsands Blockade began about 7 a.m. Wednesday when landowner advocates locked themselves to a feller buncher machine near Saltillo, Texas.
Police initially threatened protesters with trespassing or theft charges, but left about 11 a.m. without making any arrests, according to the group’s website. Workers also were turned away by a foreman.
Seven Tarsands Blockade activists were arrested last week after a similar protest in south Texas.
Organizers said the protests are meant to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which they contend will endanger the environment with its toxic tar sands slurry.