Hundreds Cuffed at KXL Protest

White House demonstration draws fire

Mar 3, 2014
Outside Magazine

Demonstrators lie down along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House during a protest against the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, Sunday, March 2, 2014. The protestors say the pipeline would contribute to global warming.    Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

As Reuters reports, several hundred of the estimated 1,000 people protesting the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House on Sunday agreed to risk arrest by refusing the leave the sidewalk in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Organizers told the press that almost 400 people were arrested, citiing U.S. Park Police figures.

Protesters demonstrated opposition to the pipeline in different ways. Some waved signs that read, "There is no planet B," while chanting, "Hey, Obama, we don't want no pipeline drama." A black tarp was laid down to represent an oil spill. Others zip-tied themselves to White House fences.

"Today's protest represents a fringe minority of people against any use of fossil fuels," Matt Dempsey of Oil Sands Fact Check told reporter Emily Stephenson. "This extreme position is well outside the American mainstream. Even President Obama says we need an 'all of the above' approach to energy. As a result, today's protest does little but expose the extreme nature of these last remaining Keystone XL opponents."

Those who support the $5.4 billion pipeline that would carry crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries in the United States argue that Keystone would improve U.S. energy security and create thousands of temporary construction jobs.

The pipeline is in a public comment period with the U.S. Department of State until March 7, and anyone can voice their concerns on their website.

Read Outside's "The Economic Case Against Keystone XL"

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