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Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline
July 20, 2011 3:22 AM   Subscribe

Naomi Klein, David Suzuki, Wendell Berry and others invite you to come to Washington DC and get arrested in an ongoing protest that aims to stop the Keystone XL oil pipeline from being constructed.
posted by mhjb (24 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
our democracy is increasingly controlled by special interests interested only in their short-term profit.

Why don't we get to the root of the matter, and have civil disobedience over this instead? It's a bit late for Bastille Day, though.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:40 AM on July 20, 2011


You first.
posted by Seiten Taisei at 4:17 AM on July 20, 2011


Well, that's one way to reduce our dependence on oil and thus do something about CO2 emissions, just make it harder to transport. Other great ideas along similar lines: Actually though, stopping this particular pipeline will perversely serve to keep the price of oil in the US a bit lower than otherwise, encouraging more use. Oil stranded in Oklahoma is the main thing keeping down the price of crude oil traded in New York compared to oil in London.

Opposing the pipeline because it "crosses crucial areas like the Oglalla Aquifer where a spill would be disastrous" may or may not make sense, I don't know. Opposing it because you're against oil in general does not.
posted by sfenders at 4:25 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love how in his old age Wendell Berry seems hell bent on getting arrested for anything and everything, from protesting the coal power plant on Capitol Hill to refusing to tag his livestock.

He and Naomi Klein also make amusing, if not quite odd, bedfellows.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:09 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


sfenders - this pipeline is to carry crude from Alberta to Texas, not out of the US.
posted by jb at 5:10 AM on July 20, 2011


Also, people are against Albertan oil especially, because it's from the tar sands, and it's very environmentally costly to get out of the ground. It's also very economically costly to mine - I've heard that it's not economically feasible unless oil is over $70 or $100 a barrell.
posted by jb at 5:12 AM on July 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lots of Tar Sands posts at MeFi previously.
posted by mediareport at 5:25 AM on July 20, 2011


sfenders - this pipeline is to carry crude from Alberta to Texas, not out of the US.

Well yes, it's to carry the oil to where the refineries are. Though of course it would also be hypothetically much easier to export from the US from the gulf coast if it somehow happens that there is more demand elsewhere in the world. Either way the problem is that the oil can't all be optimally used where it's available without the pipeline, which pushes down the WTI price, which affects not only the price the Alberta producers get but also other prices all over the place that are still tied to the NYMEX contract. It's a weird situation and will eventually be dealt with somehow, less efficiently I presume, even if the pipeline isn't built; maybe by building refineries in Nebraska, by someone setting up to transport the oil by rail to a coast where it may well get exported across an ocean until prices balance out, by Cushing losing (more of) its prominence and influence over broader American-market prices, and/or something else I can't think of. Shutting down the tar sands is not likely to be among the results. But for possibly as long as a couple of years until the market finds a way to adapt, blocking the pipeline does mean slightly lower US oil prices in some places including newspaper headlines. In fact I'd not be at all surprised if that's a big part of the reason the government has been a bit slow to approve it.
posted by sfenders at 6:19 AM on July 20, 2011


The proposed route would also have the pipeline running right over the ogallala aquifer, which provides irrigation water for huge amounts of farmland, and drinking water for many communities.

The other pipeline operated by Keystone had 10-12 spills last year.

No matter how you slice it, this is a bad idea.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 6:43 AM on July 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


This kind of "civil disobedience" irritates me. It's not like refusing to pay taxes for war and going to jail on that basis. It's not like going to the sea and making salt that you need to live. That's disobedience of laws you don't believe are just. But I doubt that these folks believe laws against trespassing are inherently unjust.
posted by Jahaza at 6:45 AM on July 20, 2011


Which isn't to say that the pipeline is or is not a good idea.
posted by Jahaza at 6:46 AM on July 20, 2011


You first.

They'll pony up, Seiten Taisei. Does that mean you'll also keep your side of the deal?
posted by IAmBroom at 6:48 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom, actually the letter says they won't all pony up: Not all of us can actually get arrested—half the signatories to this letter live in Canada, and might well find our entry into the U.S. barred.
posted by Jahaza at 6:55 AM on July 20, 2011


The proposed route would also have the pipeline running right over the ogallala aquifer, which provides irrigation water for huge amounts of farmland, and drinking water for many communities.

Don't worry, at the rate things are going that aquifer will be dry by the time they've finished the pipeline.
posted by atrazine at 7:13 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


We will, each day through Labor Day, march on the White House, risking arrest with our trespass. We will do it in dignified fashion...

Is it illegal to protest at the White House? If they're not climbing the gates or obstructing traffic, why would anyone be arrested?
posted by HumanComplex at 7:20 AM on July 20, 2011


Is it illegal to protest at the White House? If they're not climbing the gates or obstructing traffic, why would anyone be arrested?

Because 9/11. Citizen.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:43 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


and might well find our entry into the U.S. barred.

I wonder how that works. Imagine the conversation with the HS/CBP agent:

"What is the purpose of your entry into the US?"
"Meeting some friends, then we're all going to DC to get arrested!"
"..."

"...so long as you're not bringing in any fruits or vegetables."
"...a business trip then? How about a B1 visa for 3-5 pending sentencing."
"...report to secondary screening for further questioning. But first you'll have to go through the scanner again."

posted by ceribus peribus at 7:48 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't believe that Wendell Berry signed that letter. How many paragraphs start with the word "And"?
posted by goethean at 8:43 AM on July 20, 2011


people are against Albertan oil especially, because it's from the tar sands

"Tar sands"? Silly jb, I think you meant "Oil Sands". If you're not careful, you're going to let all that PR money go to waste!
posted by Hoopo at 9:17 AM on July 20, 2011


An Oil Slick Runs Through It: In Montana, ranchers reel from the oil spill on the iconic Yellowstone River.
posted by homunculus at 10:04 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Landowners Challenge TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline
posted by homunculus at 10:39 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


" Well yes, it's to carry the oil to where the refineries are."

This doesn't make any sense, because we> have lots of refineries in Alberta. My understanding was that this pipeline was owned by and for the use of Koch Industries.

That in itself should be sufficient.
posted by sneebler at 7:53 PM on July 20, 2011


The high for today is 100 with a heat index of 115. I don't imagine there will be all that many protestors out there today, or the day after.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:09 AM on July 21, 2011


Oil Lobby Resorts to Twitter Astroturf to Promote Pipeline
posted by homunculus at 9:15 PM on August 4, 2011


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