Washington D.C.:Five Environmentalists Put Their Bodies on the Line to Protest Keystone Pipeline Profiteers

DC Rising TidePress Release for Immediate Release
March 21, 2013

Five Environmentalists Put Their Bodies on the Line to Protest Keystone Pipeline Profiteers

Arrests Made for Civil Disobedience at Valero Energy Corp’s Lobbying Office in Washington, DC

(Washington DC) – Today in the nation’s capital, five environmentalists participated in a peaceful act of civil disobedience against one of the corporations that stands to profit from the Keystone XL Pipeline. Jeannie Amado, Kelly Canaan, Ricky Lehner, Lacy MacAuley, and Bill Ragen were arrested by DC metro police after a 30 minute sit down peaceful protest in the lobby of 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, which is the DC corporate office of Valero Energy Corp. Valero owns oil refineries that are poised to receive at least 20% of the tar sands exported from Canada through the nation’s heartland to Texas.

“We are putting our bodies on the line for the future of our children,” said activist Lacy MacAuley as she was led from the scene in handcuffs. “We won’t stand for corporations like Valero to profit from the destruction of the environment.”

The action at Valero Energy Corp was the culmination of a “Tour of Shame” of institutions in the nation’s capital that invest in the tar sands industry and are bankrolling the destruction of the Canadian wilderness and the dangerous, dirty Keystone Pipeline. The tour began at the Canadian Embassy, then moved to a branch office of TD Bank in the Penn Quarter and ended at Valero. Approximately 50 environmentalists joined the tour to spotlight how “TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is a toxic investment.”

Today’s action against Valero, TD Bank, and the Canadian Embassy was organized as a part of a week of action called by the Tar Sands Blockade. In a similar effort today, religious leaders held a protest in front of the White House to call on President Obama to reject the Keystone Pipeline. Earlier this week, three environmentalists chained themselves to the doors of a TD Bank branch in downtown DC.


Anti-Keystone XL Protests Erupt Across Country

WI-light-brigadeAnti-Keystone XL Protests Erupt Across Country With More Planned Soon – Thirty-Seven Arrested Already

—For Immediate Release—

MEDIA RELEASE: March 20, 2013

Press Inquiries: Ron Seifert, Tar Sands Blockade, 940-268-5375, kxlblockade@gmail.com

Over 30 protests as part of Week of Action to Stop Tar Sands Profiteers held by over 50 grassroots organizations take on corporate investors bankrolling the toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline


Wednesday, March 20, 2013- One month after the largest climate rally in U.S. history urged President Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline’s northern segment, protesters in dozens of cities throughout the U.S. are confronting KXL’s corporate backers directly.

Thirty-seven have been arrested over the last ten days for disrupting business as usual at TransCanada and their investors’ offices, with more are planned before the week is over.

The March 16-23 Week of Action to Stop Tar Sands Profiteers, in solidarity with Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance’s Direct Action Camp in Ponca City, Oklahoma, is endorsed by over 50 grassroots environmental organizations around the country. Organizers seek to expose green-washed corporations like TD Bank, a top shareholder in TransCanada, and force them to divest from the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

“Its encouraging to see people around the country taking action to stop tar sands profiteers,” said Ron Seifert, spokesperson for Tar Sands Blockade. “No longer will we allow them to build KXL and invest in toxic projects that endanger the health of low-income and communities of color. We will not allow “business as usual” to continue.”

Here are a few highlights from the Week of Action so far:

Check www.tarsandsblockade.org for live updates from actions around the country. At least 18 more actions are planned between now and Saturday, March 23rd, including six more actions against TD Bank in New York City, Washington D.C., Montpellier, VT, Newark, DE, New Haven, CT, and Asheville, NC.

One of the largest events of the week will be tomorrow, Thursday, March 21 in Oklahoma. Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance is taking action to physically stop KXL construction. Read more here: http://gptarsandsresistance.org/


Stop Tar Sands Profiteers Week of Action Kicks Off With Over 50 Organizations and Over 30 Planned Events

TSB-FB_TK_SMALLStop Tar Sands Profiteers Week of Action Kicks Off With Over 50 Organizations and Over 30 Planned Events

Grassroots organizations across the US and Canada are taking action March 16 – March 23to demonstrate that TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is a toxic investment


Over 30 actions and events are planned this week to directly confront the corporate profiteers bankrolling the Keystone XL pipeline and the broader tar sands industry. These actions come at a critical time as investor confidence in Alberta’s tar sands is waning due to major delays and resistance to Keystone XL’s construction timeline.

Grassroots activists from over 50 organizations are uniting to send a strong message to the industry that TransCanada and its financial backers must rethink their investments in tar sands, the dirtiest fuel on the planet. Organizers will march, hold rallies, give trainings, and physically disrupt “business-as-usual” for those who seek to profit from the exploitation of marginalized people and the destruction of our collective future.

Some of the top tar sands profiteers facing protest this week: TD Bank, Valero Corp, TransCanada, CIBC World Market, and Tortoise Investment Management, to name a few.

WHO: Over 50 national and local grassroots organizations across the US and Canada are joining Tar Sands Blockade in a call for actions: 350.org, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Greenpeace USA, Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, Indigenous Environmental Network, Rainforest Action Network, Rising Tide North America, Southwest Workers Union, and Utah Tar Sands Resistance, etc. Full list can be found here: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction/weekofactionorgs/

WHAT: Stop Tar Sands Profiteers Week of Action

WHEN: Saturday, February 16, 2012 – Saturday, February 23, 2012

WHY: Stop tar sands profiteers from investing in the toxic Keystone XL pipeline.

WHERE: Communities across the country. Some of the highlights include:

  • White Plains, New York, March 20th – Action at Tortoise Investment Management, one of the biggest investors in Keystone XL.
  • Ponca City, Oklahoma, March 21st – Mass Action to Stop Keystone XL Construction in Oklahoma. Direct action training camp hosted by Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, March 18-22.
  • Washington, DC, March 21st – “Holy Days Climate Action” an interfaith civil disobedience at the White House. Followed by a rally at the Canadian Embassy hosted by DC Rising Tide.
  • San Antonio, Texas, March 23rd – Community rally at Valero Corp Headquarters, one of KXL’s biggest investors.  Hosted by Students United for Socioeconomic Justice Action, Southwest Workers Union, and Idle No More
  • Los Angeles, California, March 22nd – Rally at CIBC World Markets, one of TransCanada’s major investors.
  • New York, New York, March 23rd – “Divest From TD Bank Day of Action!” hosted by Occupy the Pipeline, 350.org, and Sane Energy Project. There are events at TD Bank locations in at least six cities throughout the week.
  • San Francisco, California, March 23rd – A big direct-action training and Idle No More round dance at the Federal Building with Bay Area 350.org and Rising Tide S.F.

Map of 30 public rallies and actions: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction/planned_actions/


Ron Seifert, Tar Sands Blockade, 940-268-5375, kxlblockade@gmail.com

More info: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/weekofaction-main/

Protestor Locks Himself to Conference Equipment, Disrupts TransCanada Presentation At Oil Industry Gathering


Ethan speaking to room full of fossil fuel profiteers

Houston, TX — February 28th, 2013, 1:45pm — a protestor with Tar Sands Blockade this afternoon locked his neck to a projector screen in the middle of a TransCanada presentation at the North American Crude Marketing Conference in Houston. In taking direct action, Ethan Nuss confronted in-person Paul Miller, TransCanada’s Executive Vice President of Oil Pipelines, and a ballroom of tar sands industry investors, demanding a halt to the toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Nuss successfully disrupted the second annual conference hosted by Platts. Among other things, the gathering is intended for fossil fuel industry executives and their financial backers to collaborate on schemes to transport dirty and dangerous tar sands from Canada to the Gulf Coast so it can be refined and sold on the international market, thereby expanding the industry.

“TransCanada’s ‘business as usual’ spells death and destruction for our communities,” said Ethan Nuss. “My conscience won’t allow me to watch this multinational corporation and their profiteers poison impacted communities from here in Houston’s polluted East End to indigenous people at the point of tar sands extraction in Alberta, Canada. This must stop.” Ethan further shares his reasons for taking direct action below:

At last year’s marketing conference, Paul Miller explained the necessity of the southern leg of Keystone XL through Oklahoma and Texas to the expansion of the exploitative tar sands industry. TransCanada’s own fourth quarter report, released last week, revealed that the controversial pipeline is less than half completed, despite the Canadian pipeline corporation’s previous projections for completion of the southern segment this April.

This revelation highlights that Tar Sands Blockade’s sustained civil disobedience campaign since last August has been successful in delaying Keystone XL construction. Today’s action is part of growing momentum for an upcoming national week of action called for by Tar Sands Blockade and allies from March 16-23, with over 60 actions currently reported nationwide.

“This is just a morsel of what TransCanada and other tar sands profiteers can expect in the coming weeks and months,” said Kim Huynh, a spokesperson with Tar Sands Blockade. “All over the country, communities are gearing up to take to the streets, offices, extraction sites and public events to show that our movement won’t relent until we’ve made this investment as toxic for TransCanada and its financial backers as the very tar sands being piped through Keystone XL. Our tar sands-free future begins now.”

Earlier this week, 20,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into Otter Creek in Tyler County, TX from a pipeline owned by Sunoco Logistics. Otter Creek flows into Russell Creek, which feeds the Neches River. The leak did not trigger Sunoco’s detection systems but was discovered by local residents reporting oil in their water.