Activists against the tar sands pipeline rally on Saturday in Washington, DC ahead of Hurricane Irene. Photo by: Josh Lopez/Tar Sands Action. Click to enlarge.
A two week long civil action is taking place in front of the White House in an attempt to convince the Obama Administration to turn down the Keystone Pipeline XL, which would bring oil from Alberta’s tar sands to the US market. Protestors are opposed to the pipeline for a number of reasons, including potential oil spills. However, the main reason is that the tar sands carry a bigger carbon burden than conventional oil, exacerbating the global climate crisis. Many environmentalists have come to see the tar sands pipeline as a test to the Obama Administration’s willingness to address climate change after years of disappointment.
To date 381 people have been arrested in the protest. Activists are intentionally, but peacefully, trespassing as an act of civil disobedience. Those arrested to date have included influential environmental leader and head of 350.org, Bill McKibben. Climatologist James Hansen is expected to protest tomorrow and risk arrest.