Major publications coast to coast are discussing the implications of the Keystone tarsands pipeline that will dead-end in Southeast Texas. Despite the national fervor the State Department will only hold hearings along the proposed route. Texans have been granted 2 opportunities voice concerns, one in Austin and the other in Port Arthur. I am working alongside the Sierra Club and internationally recognized environmentalist Hilton Kelly to raise awareness of the health and economic impact the contents of this pipeline will have. The community of Port Arthur has a long history with industry (including the incineration of VX nerve gas) and recently been plagued with high unemployment. Residents in this area are no strangers to harsh chemical smells or pipelines and from the lack of local dialogue, for or against the pipeline, it would seem they are blissfully unaware of whats happening right under their noses.
“It’s not the easiest thing on Earth for law-abiding folk to come to risk arrest,” –Bill McKibben Environmentalist/protest organizer
Born and raised in Southeast Texas I can attest that a new pipeline is hardly worthy of a headline. This is different, and even with a notable amount of national media attention it is still proving difficult to get the message across. I started on this campaign over a year ago when the State Dept. began holding hearings along the route of the pipeline. At the time several significant issues were brought to their attention including; strip mining in Alberta, chemical leaks to downstream communities, the proposed route’s passage over the Ogallala aquifer, the discrepancies between proposed job creation numbers and ultimately the impact on citizens living near refining sites like Port Arthur.
Continue reading “Not so smooth…like Keystone XL”