Norman resident Elisabeth Leja went to jail Monday to show her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.
Leja, 74, was arrested Monday morning at a construction site between Paden and Boley in Okfuskee County, where TransCanada crews are working on the pipeline.
The retired teacher locked herself to a piece of equipment being used to build the 485-mile pipeline between the oil storage hub at Cushing and refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Okfuskee County Sheriff Jack Choate said Leja was arrested without incident after authorities cut the cable lock she used to attach herself to a track hoe. She is expected to face a trespassing charge.
A Keystone spokesman said the protest did not affect construction on the project, which is expected to be completed by the middle of this year.
Leja is part of a coalition working to stop the transportation of diluted bitumen from Canada's oil sands through the Great Plains, organizers said.
“The North Canadian River, which the Keystone XL crosses just south of here, isn't something that we can compromise,” Leja said in a news release. “These two years of drought have made our waterways even more sacred, and the dilbit (diluted bitumen) they want to put in that pipeline is just crazy, it isn't safe.”
Monday's protest was the first in Oklahoma since TransCanada reached a settlement with three groups and 19 people who had protested the pipeline. They now are barred from interfering with the project.
“Basically, they are prohibited from doing the very thing we saw today — physically chaining themselves to equipment or in any way impeding TransCanada's access to the right of way,” Keystone spokesman Jim Prescott said. “Although the order is effective in Texas and Oklahoma, it is only applicable to the named individuals and organizations.”