The QueQue: Protesting Canadian tar sands in Texas, Global warning hasn’t reached Perry
Published: August 24, 2011
Protesting Canadian tar sands in Texas
East Texas resident David Daniel didn’t know anything about the planned 1,700-mile pipeline called the Keystone XL, planned to run tar-sands-derived oil (a sludge up to 70 times thicker than traditional crude oil) from Canada all the way to Houston’s refineries and ports, until he stumbled across surveyor’s stakes crossing the middle of his heavily wooded property several years ago. The carpenter wasn’t too pleased about the trespassing, or a letter he received weeks later from TransCanada announcing that surveyors were on the way, or the message from a Houston-based attorney who he said told him, “All I need to know is which pile to put you in: the cooperative pile or the F-ing uncooperative pile.” Eminent domain powers for oil and gas lines are hard to fight. But Daniel is doing his best, teaming up this week with protestors from around the country for a “wave of civil disobedience” at the White House that seeks to stop the Canadian project.
Already, a smaller Keystone line has experienced 12 spills in the U.S., a testament to the high-heat, high-pressure, and corrosive nature of the tar sands fluid, Daniel said. Case in point: the EPA said a 800,000-gallon tar sands spill in the Kalamazoo River would be cleaned up in a matter of months. That was a year ago. Today it’s expected to take years more. The Natural Resources Defense Council, writing on the one-year anniversary of the spill, said: “raw tar sands crude is unlike anything we’ve had in our pipelines before.”
Weeks of protests outside the White House are intended to pressure President Obama to stop the project. There were 70 arrests on Saturday, and the two-week protest was just getting underway. Daniel was headed into Nebraska when QueQue caught up with him. He worried about pushing “non-conventional” petroleum through a “conventional” pipeline, the fact that up to 1.7 million gallons could leak before the leak-detection system would kick on, and for our water. “We don’t need this at all. This threatens our lives, our water supplies. We have alternative sources of energy. We do not have alternative sources of water.”
It also takes a huge amount of energy to convert that stuff to sludge in the first place, making the tar sands a huge climate change concern.
Global warning hasn’t reached Perry
Not that Gov. Rick Perry would be worried. Given the Gov’s intransigence on the subject as he prances about in the campaign spotlight, it should come as no shock that Perry and Texas’ state climatologist have never breached the topic of climate change — despite the fact that nearly all the state is experiencing “exceptional” drought and has been smashing heat records all summer long.