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Keystone XL pipeline opponents plan protests

Tar Sands Blockade intends to use civil disobedience to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline between Cushing and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.
BY JAY F. MARKS Modified: August 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm •  Published: August 17, 2012

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline launched a civil disobedience campaign Thursday aimed at stopping construction of the controversial project.

Developer TransCanada Corp. has begun construction of the 485-mile pipeline between Cushing and the Gulf Coast after securing the necessary permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Crews are working at several locations in Texas, with plans to move into Oklahoma this fall.

A group calling itself Tar Sands Blockade intends to stop the pipeline with a “nonviolent civil disobedience campaign,” it announced Thursday in a news release.

“We intend to delay construction of this dangerous project long enough to force the termination of TransCanada's shipping contracts and investments,” according to the group's website. “It isn't going to be easy, but inaction is far more risky than taking a stand.”

TransCanada officials said Thursday they are aware some groups intend to disrupt construction of the $2.3 billion pipeline.

“We have plans in place to deal with this if disruptions do occur, but we will not discuss those plans publicly for the safety and security of our employees and contractors,” a spokesman said.

Blockade organizers planned events Thursday in Cushing, Dallas and Houston in support of landowners who claim they have been bullied and manipulated by TransCanada.

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