Several luminaries of the environmental movement were arrested in Washington, D.C. Wednesday protesting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, including Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, Bill McKibben of 350.org and former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond. More demonstrations are planned this weekend.
A Bay Area rally to “Reject Keystone XL” is planned for Sunday in San Francisco. Demonstrators will surround the U.S. State Department office downtown.
The proposed underground pipeline, which would carry crude oil from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas, is one of the biggest issues facing President Barack Obama in his second term. Because the pipeline would cross the international border between Saskatchewan, Canada, and Morgan, Mont., a special permit from the U.S. Department of State is required for the project to proceed. Several business and labor groups are urging the pipeline’s approval, saying it would create much-needed construction jobs.
Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry promised a “fair and transparent” review of the pipeline; a decision is not expected to be made until June.