It wasn’t in Tampa. Or about Isaac. So, of course, it wasn’t much noticed.
But yesterday, in Livingston, Texas, “multi-generational” advocates and activists continued the efforts to stop the construction of the Tar Sands / Keystone pipeline. A small group of people, with the usual minimal media interest in their actions successfully stopped, at least for one day, construction of the Canada to Texas’ Gulf coast pipeline. Other than brief moments, Keystone / Tar Sands has generally received little attention. Obama responded to earlier protest efforts by putting a temporary hold on the project. It was very temporary, of course, and soon the construction began, from the south end. That meant, of course, in Texas.
Check out the Tar Sand Blockade site for details about yesterday’s efforts by advocates of the Livingston Lockdown group, replete with photos and live updates as the protest occurred. That included several arrests, all of whom were later released, though not without some delays.
7 Tar Sands Blockaders Arrested After Locking to Keystone XL Pipeline Truck in Livingston, TX!
… In other news, the story of our blockaders and their stance in solidarity with rural landowners facing eminent domain seizure of their homes is being picked up in the greater blogosphere! EcoWatch.org has posted our story to their readers, and DirtyTarSands.org wrote a fantastic piece tying together what the Republican National Convention, the Obama Administration’s new fuel standards and our seven arrests in Texas have in common – you guess it, it’s Keystone XL.
Okay, we really can’t get away from Tampa. The “drill, baby, drill” attitude still echoes through the 2012 convention. From Buzz Feed, one of the “6 GOP Talking Points For The Convention” is:
Our Platform has some very stark differences between us and President Obama from creating jobs through the Keystone Pipeline, an all of the above energy plan, keeping taxes low and eliminating regulations for small businesses.
More about Keystone and the blockade, as well as a recap of Obama’s actions related to the pipeline, from Dirty Oil Sands:
What do the Republican National Convention, the Obama Administration’s new fuel standards and seven arrests in Texas have in common?
The Keystone XL pipeline tar sands pipeline.
Let’s start with the RNC, which started today and where the GOP has made Keystone a top convention talking point. …
Meanwhile, landowners and their supporters in Texas, where TransCanada has started building the southern half of the pipeline, are taking non-violent action to stop construction. Today, seven people were arrested in an action that stopped construction activities for the day. These are not greenies from Berkeley, but Texas citizens who care more about protecting water and health than about oil company profits. Republicans say they support land rights, but who is standing up for these landowners?
The piece mentions that on the day the convention began and the arrests were made, the Obama administration did a positive thing in finalizing new fuel efficiency standards, requiring an averaged 55 MPG by 2025.
The connection to the pipeline is this: President Obama, in an interview with AARP, noted that the new rule will not only reduce pollution and save consumers money but will reduce oil consumption by an amount ‘equal to what would be pumped through the Keystone pipeline for 45 years.’
But despite his realization that efficiency can save more oil than Keystone XL can carry, the President is ambivalent about the pipeline, to the point where he is for half of it. He supports the southern half while withholding judgment on the northern half. On his trip to Cushing, OK in March, the President went out of his way to ‘expedite’ the process of approving the southern section of the pipeline, even though his Administration has little say over that section of the project. That encouragement of TransCanada led directly to their segmenting the project and starting construction on the southern half through Oklahoma and Texas. ng in finalizing new fuel efficiency standards, requiring an averaged 55 MPG by 2025.
A sort of half-full / half-empty situation, I guess. Well, unless you’re one of the people who really doesn’t think this whole Keystone project is an environmental, landowner, resident living along the southern half of the pipeline friendly sort of thing. Then it’s not as bad as it could be if the whole line was actively being constructed, but not as good as the whole project being scrapped.
The actions of the Livingston Blockade group will, of course, be ignored, minimized and laughed off by many, people who will see the small numbers and assume that means “failure.” What many of us see, however, are people very much like us who step up and take action even when it’s not the big, popular, widely publicized thing to do.
These are the true grassroots people who are the foundation of advocacy. Their actions are the groundwork of building, maintaining and growing movements. The Keystone pipeline – if completed – won’t be in the backyard of the vast majority of Americans. Not this time, not this particular project, at least. The Livingstone Blockade, and other groups organized along the proposed pathway, however, are acting on behalf of everyone who sees a problem with Republican “drill, baby, drill” attitudes. And with Democratic presidents who take half-way measures.