SPAULDING — Two Texas residents locked themselves to a piece of construction equipment early Monday morning to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in Hughes County.
Benjamin Butler and Eamon Treadaway Danzig are part of the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, a coalition dedicated to stopping the expansion of infrastructure tied to Canada's oil sands.
Both men were arrested about 9:15 a.m. Monday after firefighters cut apart the lock box attaching them to a side boom, organizers said.
Butler and Danzig are among more than a dozen people arrested in protests along the pipeline route in Oklahoma since February.
Developer TransCanada is building a pipeline to move oil between the storage hub at Cushing and refineries on Texas' Gulf Coast.
“Like the others that came before it, today's protest did not interfere with overall construction progress,” spokesman Jim Prescott said. “As of today, construction of the 485-mile Gulf Coast Pipeline is more than 70 percent complete and on schedule to begin operation by the end of 2013.”
Opponents of the project contend it is inherently dangerous due to the environmental risks posed by continued oil sands extraction and transportation.
“This pipeline is essential for continued tar sands exploitation, which poses an imminent threat to the health of indigenous communities near the point of extraction, fence-line communities around the toxic refineries, and ultimately the health of every living being along the route,” said Butler, who was born at Tinker Air Force Base. “I believe in a more beautiful world, one where the profits of a corporation don't outweigh the health of the people and the planet.”