Arrests end Keystone XL protest in Oklahoma

An Iowa man was one of four people arrested in the latest Oklahoma protest against the Keystone XL pipeline.
by Jay F. Marks Modified: April 22, 2013 at 11:54 am •  Published: April 22, 2013
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An Iowa man locked himself to a piece of heavy machinery Monday in an Earth Day protest against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Alec Johnson, 61, was one of four people arrested during Monday's protest in Atoka County, organizers said.

Johnson took action to defend the Red River, according to the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance. Organizers described Johnson as a climate justice organizer from Ames, Iowa.

It is the fifth protest launched by the environmental group in an attempt to block the Keystone XL pipeline.

The protest also fell on the final day to the State Department's public comment period for the transcontinental pipeline.

“This is our environmental impact statement,” said Richard Ray Whitman, spokesman for the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance. “We are taking a stand to protect our access to clean water.”

Pipeline opponents are concerned about the potential risks of moving diluted bitumen from Canada's oil sands across the United States, citing the recent rupture of an Exxon Mobil line in Arkansas.


by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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