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Protester blocks Keystone XL's path in southern Oklahoma

A man opposed to construction of the Keystone XL pipeline locked his arm in a concrete capsule Thursday to halt the project's progress across southern Oklahoma.
by Jay F. Marks Modified: April 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm •  Published: April 26, 2013

The Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance took another shot Thursday at slowing down construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Activist Fitzgerald Scott, 42, locked his arm in a concrete capsule buried directly in the pipeline's path Thursday morning in Pontotoc County.

Scott, 42, was arrested shortly after 9 a.m. after firefighters removed him from the right of way, organizers said.

A project spokesman said the protest halted construction for about 90 minutes before crews were able to return to work.

The southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline is supposed to be in service by the end of the year.

Thursday's protest marks the sixth time the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance has taken action in an attempt to block construction of the 485-mile pipeline being built between the oil storage hub at Cushing and refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. At least a dozen people face trespassing and related charges related to those protests.

The site Scott blockaded is in a wetland area where even a small leak in the pipeline could allow cancer-causing chemicals to leak into the water table, according to protesters.

TransCanada officials maintain pipelines are the safest way to transport crude oil.

Scott, who organizers described as a longtime social and environmental activist, said he is concerned about the integrity of the pipeline because neither developer TransCanada nor federal regulators have done anything about faulty welds protesters found in east Texas.

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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