Letters to the Editor

Saturday, 20 August 2011

August 20 - September 3: White House sit-in against tar sands pipeline, one of the biggest sit-ins in history

- Excerpt from the Globe and Mail, Saturday, August 20

"Dozens of protesters were arrested Saturday as they participated in a protest outside the White House aimed at pressuring President Barack Obama to put the brakes to TransCanada's controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

They're staging the protest as the U.S. State Department is poised to release its final environmental assessment of TransCanada's $7-billion project. That report is expected within days, and Mr. Obama will then have 90 days to decide whether granting the Calgary-based oil giant a pipeline permit is in the U.S. national interest.

Keystone XL will carry millions of barrels of oilsands crude a week from northern Alberta through the American heartland to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.

Environmentalists say the Keystone XL has the potential to wreak havoc on America's agricultural heartland and point to recent large-scale pipeline oil spills. Proponents of the pipeline, including most congressional Republicans, consider the project a major job creator that will help end American reliance on Middle East oil.

The U.S. State Department is tasked with making a decision on the pipeline because it crosses and international border. In recent talks in Washington between Hilary Clinton and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, the secretary of state was exceedingly cautious when discussing the pipeline, says a source familiar with the discussion..."

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