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Activists Take To The Trees To Stop Keystone XL Pipeline in East Texas

Three pickup trucks of TransCanada’s Keystone XL construction workers are arriving on Highway 2088 outside Winnsboro, Texas. Their purpose? Tear down the trees, clear the brush, flatten the land, and erect a portion of the southern section of the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline, if completed, will bring the tar sands from Canada down to the Houston area where it will be refined…. then sold to China and other countries. The Canadian Tar Sands is considered to be the most destructive project on Earth.

All the while the corporate leaders and their lobbyists are continually telling the people that the Keystone XL will provide millions of jobs and stock the United States with oil for many decades to come.

Do not believe them.

There will be a few jobs, but not a million. A few thousand – and only for the amount of time needed to construct the pipeline. The pipeline will provide decades of oil – but China and other countries will be buying most of it. After all, fuel was our country’s number one export for 2011. It is all about profit for the oil companies – and profit for John Boehner, too. Our Speak of the House has been doing some insider trading. He has millions of future dollars to look forward to should the Keystone XL Pipeline become fully functional. If it doesn’t, goodbye millions of moola. Remember how upset Boehner was when Obama put off the pipeline earlier this year? This is exactly why.

“…according to Boehner’s financial disclosure forms, he invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada’s oil sands…. The firms include six oil companies — BP, Canadian Natural Resources, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Devon Energy and Exxon — along with Emerson Electric, which has a contract to provide the digital automation for the first phase of a $9.4 billion Horizon Oil Sands Project in Canada.” (Daily Kos)

So do not think for one moment that Boehner has the people’s best interest in sight. Nothing more than greedy, corrupt bullshit.


The Tree-People


Eight people climbed 80 feet into trees in the path of Keystone XL construction, and pledged not to come down until the pipeline is stopped for good. Construction cannot proceed until tree-sitters descend and TransCanada clear-cuts through hundreds of trees to make way for the toxic tar sands pipeline.


Today the sheriff’s department arrived and arrested two men who had locked themselves to a backhoe at a Keystone XL construction site. All eight tree-people are still there and due to their dedication and determination, the construction-destruction has been stopped and delayed for two days.

The two men that were arrested have since been released.


Tar Sand Blockade

These brave people belong to a group that calls themselves the “Tar Sand Blockade,” and they have had some success in stopping the pipeline in various locations in Texas. They provide training on what to expect and how to react, and all work together as a strong unit. The “tree brigade” is not their first fight.

Here are several pictures of their tree-top home – and this took some forethought and a lot of work. These eight people are not messing around here. They completely plan on staying put in the trees until they have stopped the pipeline. More photos below the videos – check them out before you go.

Also included here is a video of a machine tearing down trees. An activist writes:

“Our fearless videographer stealthily shot this intense footage two hours ago. Watch as a feller buncher rips up trees as it cuts its way toward our eight brave blockaders defending a timber scaffolding as part of the tree village. Blockaders refuse to be intimidated by these heavy machines and pledge to remain in their aerial perches until Keystone XL construction has halted.”

Lastly is a 12-minute mini-documentary about a woman and her son in East Taxes who had their land taken from them for the pipeline. An excellent interview and two very respectable people. LOL.. I have to chuckle at the mother’s deep Texas drawl so strong that a few words are pronounced very differently.

GALLERY: You may click on any image to enlarge to full size.

Heavy Machinery Cutting Toward Tar Sands Blockade Tree Village (NOTE: Make sure your volume is turned down first – it is loud)


Tar Sands Blockade Delays Keystone XL Construction for Two Days (video from August 2012)


Vimeo: Episode 03: East Texas (mini documentary of a mother and her son having their land taken by the oil companies)


Sources and references:

Tar Sands Blockade: BREAKING: Eight People Climb Trees And Start Indefinite Tree Sit to Stop Keystone XL (9/24)
Tar Sands Blockade: BREAKING: Two People Lock Themselves to Keystone XL Machinery to Defend Eight People in Tree Village (9/25)
Tar Sand Blockade photos on Flickr
Politicus USA: Corrupt John Boehner Invested In Oil Companies Then Pushed Keystone XL
Daily Kos: John Boehner’s Keystone XL conflict of interest Copies of the personal finance profiles of John Boehner (R-Ohio)

Motley News: Tar Sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth
Motley News: More articles about the Keystone XL and the tar sands


  1. Many Thanks to the ones in the trees and ground protesting for all of us to protect our natural habitat from being destroyed in the greed of more oil resulting in many animals and creatures dying along with the beautiful groundcovers and also what the people will suffer who live nearby I dread to think of.what disaster this is evolving.I was hoping President Obama would take concern for our country and people to not allow this to happen.

  2. I resent the hell out of this pipeline. Why should we destroy our environment and/or put it at permanent risk of destruction so that Canada can sell its oil overseas!? Makes no sense to me at all — except of course for the few — very few — people that are going to make money off the deal. Too many people believe the lies about this project bringing jobs to America. ‘Taint so and never was.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. This, and private prisons, are my two big “hates” we have going on. All the companies, and Boehner, have to do is tell these huge lies about millions of jobs, rivers flowing with money, etc. and the weak-minded will follow (which are a lot). I cannot stand Boehner. He and McConnell I think are the “leaders” of the “one-term president” uncooperation in Congress.

  3. Two things: The members of congress are exempt from the insider trading laws. This
    because their sterling characters would stop them from cheating the hell
    out of the rest of us.

    The Canadians are cutting down a five hundred year old arboreal forest.


    • I thought Obama had passed an “insider trading” bill – although it was tore up quite a bit when it finally passed. If so, naturally Boehner would be grandfathered, like anyone else who had previously bought stock.

      This really is a very serious conflict of interests and needs to be made illegal.

      • It could be a conflict of interests if less honest and patriotic people were involved! I do hope that I am wrong and that Obama did pass an insider trading bill.

        About that 500 year old forest? The Canadians can just grow another. Phillip

  4. Oh yes, I’m liking the gallery thing. I’d never used it before my recent post. And until you mentioned it, I hadn’t thought about captions, since I didn’t have any on my gallery pictures. Now I’ve got to experiment with those.

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