(UPDATES in timeline for today’s actions below)

The latest Tar Sands Day of Action is underway, in East Texas, and in other solidarity actions, including in Minneapolis and San Francisco. This follows yesterday’s Keystone XL actions in DC — see, for example, “3,000 Marched Around White House Saying No Keystone XL Pipeline, Yes Climate Solutions” at EcoWatch.

About today’s actions, from Tar Sands Blockade:

Nacodoches, TX – Today, four people locked themselves to heavy machinery used along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route. They were joined by several others forming a human chain to block the movement of heavy machinery onsite, while more than 30 people walked onto the same construction site to halt work early this morning. Meanwhile, three others launched a new tree blockade at a crossing of the Angelina River, suspending themselves from 50 foot pine trees with life lines anchored to heavy machinery, effectively blocking the entirety of Keystone XL’s path. Today’s Day of Action is in solidarity with local landowners struggling to protect their water and land from TransCanada’s toxic tar sands pipeline. …

While these multisite actions halted Keystone XL construction this morning, local community members rallied at Lake Nacogdoches to further highlight the threats Keystone XL poses to the community’s watershed and public health. These events around the Nacogdoches area coincide with a week’s worth of events in solidarity with Tar Sands Blockade. Scheduled to occur in over 40 communities around the world, these actions highlight the urgent need to address the climate crisis.

A few Updates (Check Tar Sands Blockade for continued updates.)

UPDATE: 1:10 pm — Ground supporters blockade cherry picker to protect tree-sits; police retaliate with reckless pepper spray and arrests …

UPDATE: 11:55 am — Sheriffs shaking tree-sit lifeline; sitters refusing to come down
UPDATE: 11:40 am — Remaining two blockaders extracted after being pepper sprayed …
UPDATE: 11:15 am — Two blockaders extracted from lock down; two more holding strong …
UPDATE: 11:10 am — Solidarity action in Palm Beach, FL results in arrests in front of Deutsche Bank …
UPDATE: 10:55 am — Second supporter arrested at lock down site; police putting handcuffs on blockaders locked to machinery …
UPDATE: 10:40 am — Solidarity actions take off in Minneapolis and San Francisco …
UPDATE: 10:15 am — Police pepper spray two people locked down; one person arrested on the ground at tree blockade …
UPDATE: 9:40 am — One person detained at lock down site, placed in flexicuffs …
UPDATE: 9:30 am — TransCanada workers return to lock down site with police officers and video equipment …
UPDATE: 9:10 am — All construction stopped at site of lock down; workers have completely left site …

Meanwhile, Steve Horn, at Nation of Change, reports”

Former Clinton and Bush Cabinet Members, Now Oil and Gas Lobbyists, Expect Keystone XL Green Light

The Tar Sands Blockade of TransCanada Corporation’s ‘Keystone XL South’ continues in Texas, but former members of the Clinton and George W. Bush cabinets believe the northern half will soon be green-lighted by President Barack Obama.

In a Nov. 13 conference call led by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), an oil and gas industry front group, CEA Counsel John Northington said he believes a ‘Keystone XL North’ rubber stamp is in the works by the Obama Administration.

‘I think the Keystone will be approved in fairly short order by the administration,’ Northington said on the call.

Northington was the Department of the Interior’s Senior Advisor to the Bureau of Land Management in the Clinton administration. He was joined on the call by Michael Whatley, CEA’s Executive Vice President, who was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Energy under George W. Bush and as Chief of Staff of former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).

Horn reports that the TransCanada has other options related to moving its tar sand crude to refineries in the Houston area.

Though outfits like CEA are working overtime to ensure ‘Keystone XL North’ is built soon, there are other ways to skin the cat and bring tar sands crude to market. The most important one, covered here on DeSmogBlog and in a recent story published by the Calgary Herald, is freight rail.

Warren Buffett, the ‘Oracle of Obama,’ has a major financial stake both in tar sands production, as well as in moving tar sands to market via the Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) freight trains he owns under the auspices of his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway.

Note, this latter is in regard to the north section of the pipeline, or maybe railway. It’s been clear since Obama implemented an “expedited” approval of the southern section that the assumption of its completion will be an argument for completing the northern section, which the president said needed further study. I’d guess what was “needed” was an election year campaign sound bite that sounded sort of green.

(Tar Sand Blockade Nachodoches via Tar Sands Blockade)