TAR SANDS BLOCKADE HASN'T GIVEN UP YET, DESPITE MEDIA
By William Boardman Email address removed
Officially, it seems, the Tar Sands Blockade was supposed to be over in mid-October, when the New York Times, having thus far ignored the story, announced that it was a "last-ditch bid." But Tar Sands Blockade, a grassroots coalition of Texans opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline, is still there, still occupying the treehouse blockade it mounted September 24, still trying to hold up construction of TransCanada's $7 billion pipeline that will bring hot, toxic tar sands oil sludge from Canada for global markets.
Two more people joined the tree-sitters this week, bringing the number of tree blockades to four, as blockaders maneuver in response to TransCanada's effort to build around the original blockade. One of the new tree-sitters is Cat Ripley, 20, a veteran pipeline protestor who last year helped stop another TransCanada pipeline near Portland, OR, when the builders withdrew their permit application.
Presidential candidate Mitt ("if I have to build it myself to get it here, I'll get it to America") Romney and President ("I'm all for pipelines") Obama both support the Keystone XL pipeline, and both claim -- falsely -- that it will contribute to the chimera of American energy independence. While both candidates are also all but silent on climate change, former US Army chief of staff Gen. Gordon Sullivan and the other ten retired officers of the CNA think tank's Military Advisory Board say unambiguously: "Climate change is and must be recognized as a threat to our national security."
Sometimes lost in the details is the basic argument about tapping the Alberta tar sands in Canada, since tar sands oil is much more toxic than oil from previously exploited reserves. Because the Alberta reserve is vast, it's a significant hedge against oil shortages, and has drawn heavy investment from the oil industry, including PetroChina. Because tar sands oil is so toxic, environmentalists warn against it -- as James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, wrote in the New York Times last may: "If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate."
Tar Sands Resistance Spreads Across U.S. and Canada
TransCanada pipeline construction sites offer clear confrontation points in the oil/climate struggle, with resistance growing wherever pipelines have threatened to go lately, whether Nebraska or British Columbia, Vermont or Texas, where the Tar Sands Blockade's action has entered its second month.