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Local Activists Protest Pipeline

Big Oil is looming. The Keystone XL pipeline project, a massive 1,179 mile crude-oil pipeline that would run through the middle of the U.S., is currently on the forefront of the environmental radar as the country waits to hear whether the U.S. State Department will recommend its approval by the president. On Nov. 13, Mary DeMocker and 24 other climate activists delivered an “on notice” letter to the Eugene Federal Building, informing government officials that if the Keystone XL project moves forward, they will stage a nonviolent protest by blocking the doors to the Federal Building with their bodies until forcibly removed by police officers. 

According to the project’s website, the finished pipeline would transport 830,000 barrels of tar sands crude oil per day from Canada to the Gulf Coast and refineries in the Midwest, costing the U.S. $5.3 billion to build. Although the tar sands are in Canada, megaloads of tar sands equipment are now being shipped through Eastern Oregon (see EW’s coverage at wkly.ws/1mo). DeMocker says that she’s nervous about staging a protest in which she could end up in jail, but the alternative frightens her even more when she thinks of cataclysmic events like Hurricane Sandy and the wreckage caused by the Philippine typhoon.

“This is human-caused climate change, and it’s past time to stop belching carbon,” DeMocker writes of her experience. “Nature’s message is clear: The atmosphere can’t afford new fossil fuel infrastructure — especially the Keystone Pipeline, that will, as NASA’s Dr. James Hansen stated, ignite the ‘fuse to the world’s biggest carbon bomb.’”

DeMocker is part of a group of 60 environmental activists from Eugene and Corvallis, including members of Corvallis 350, who have signed the Keystone Pledge of Resistance and plan on taking part in protests and acts of civil disobedience if the State Department vets the oil pipeline. For more information or to attend a training in Eugene, contact stopkeystonexlnow@gmail.com or go to http://action-at-350corvallis.org. or http://nokxl.org.