News / USA

Cowboys, Indians Protest Keystone Pipeline

  • Native Americans, farmers, ranchers, and cowboys gather outside the Capitol Hill during a "Reject and Protect" rally to protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, Washington D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
  • Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation in Alberta leads a rally of Native Americans, farmers, ranchers, and cowboys to protest against the Keystone XL pipeline, Washington D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
  • Shane Red Hawk of the Sioux Tribe from South Dakota, center, rides a horse with other Native Americans, cowboys, farmers, ranchers and environmentalists during the 'Reject and Protect' rally protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, Washington D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
  • The Cowboy and Indian Alliance, a coalition of Native American tribes, ranchers, and farmers, stages a "Reject and Protect" protest against the Keystone XL oil pipeline project outside Capitol Hill, Washington D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
  • The Cowboy and Indian Alliance stages a "Reject and Protect" protest around Capitol Hill against the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, Washington D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)

Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters Gather in Washington

Reuters
An alliance of Native American tribes, ranchers, farmers, cowboys, and environmentalists is staging a six-day rally in Washington, D.C., to protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline project, a 2,700-kilometer TransCanada pipeline which will move bitumen from Alberta's oilsands to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
 
Native Americans, farmers, ranchers and cowboys gather outside the Capitol Hill during a 'Reject and Protect' rally to protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)Native Americans, farmers, ranchers and cowboys gather outside the Capitol Hill during a 'Reject and Protect' rally to protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
x
Native Americans, farmers, ranchers and cowboys gather outside the Capitol Hill during a 'Reject and Protect' rally to protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
Native Americans, farmers, ranchers and cowboys gather outside the Capitol Hill during a 'Reject and Protect' rally to protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
The protesters say they are worried about the project's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety of their aboriginal and farming communities along the route.

Far from giving up on the project to the United States, Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Tuesday Canada would keep the issue alive with the Obama administration despite a further delay of the U.S. decision on whether to approve it.

Oliver, who vigorously promoted the TransCanada Corp crude oil line as natural resources minister before taking over at finance last month, told reporters he was very disappointed that the U.S. had delayed the decision on Friday "yet again."

Asked if Canada's Conservative government should wait until a new U.S. administration was elected before making a renewed push, he said: "I think it's important for Canada to keep the issue alive."

"After all, this is a project which is supported by a strong majority of Americans," he added, "by a commanding majority of senators and congressmen, by every governor through whose state the pipeline would go. It is widely supported and we want to continue to remind people that the project is there."

The State Department extended a comment period on the $5.4 billion, 830,000 barrel-per-day project, a move that could well delay a final decision until after the U.S. mid-term elections in November.

Oliver said the U.S. delay would affect economic growth and jobs on both sides of the border.

He also said it was an issue of national security, pointing out that Canadian oil would supplant crude from Venezuela, which had threatened to cut off oil supplies to the United States five times in the previous five years.

Europe's exposure to a possible cut-off of Russian natural gas and the crisis in Ukraine demonstrate "the vulnerability that countries have when they rely on non-reliable sources of energy," Oliver said. "Canada is a reliable source of energy."
 
Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation in Alberta leads a rally of Native Americans, farmers, ranchers, and cowboys to protest against the Keystone XL pipeline, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation in Alberta leads a rally of Native Americans, farmers, ranchers, and cowboys to protest against the Keystone XL pipeline, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
x
Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation in Alberta leads a rally of Native Americans, farmers, ranchers, and cowboys to protest against the Keystone XL pipeline, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation in Alberta leads a rally of Native Americans, farmers, ranchers, and cowboys to protest against the Keystone XL pipeline, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
Critics say the pipeline would only encourage the development of the oil sands, and thereby worsen global warming.

Oil companies use large amounts of natural gas to make steam to liquefy heavy oil reserves, creating more carbon dioxide than conventional production.

"I hope people would stick to the facts. The fact is that the oil sands represent a miniscule proportion of greenhouse gas emissions, one one-thousandth, and we have done a great deal to reduce the intensity of emissions," he said.

Coal-fired electricity production in the United States emits 33 times more than all the oil sands put together, he said.

Asked about environmental activists coming to Canada to focus on the oil sands, he said: "I think that perhaps people coming from the United States might contemplate what the record is there and take that into account."

Canada's emissions per capita and in relation to gross domestic product are somewhat lower than in the United States, he added.

Delay reinforces Obama strategy

The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama's liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate.

Environmentalists, worried about the project's effect on climate change, have put enormous pressure on the president to reject the pipeline from Canada's oil sands, staging demonstrations outside the White House and protests in states where he travels.

A decision to approve it now could have prompted  that vocal group, which was instrumental in electing Obama in 2008 and 2012, to sit out the Nov. 4 congressional elections.

The State Department's announcement on Friday that it would give government agencies more time to study the project was seen by strategists from both parties as a move to prevent that and boost Obama in the eyes of his supporters. Support for the president, or lack of it, is generally reflected in mid-term voter turnout.

Approval of the pipeline would also have risked dampening the enthusiasm of wealthy donors such as billionaire investor Tom Steyer, who is spending tens of millions of dollars to boost environmentally-friendly candidates.

"This is rotten eggs for TransCanada and good news on Good Friday for those who oppose Keystone as not being in our nation's best interest," Steyer said in a statement.

Obama cannot run for re-election again, but the outcome of the congressional elections, particularly control of the Senate, will determine how much of his agenda can be enacted during his final two years in office.

Diaa Bekheet in Washington contributed to this report.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Byron from: New York
April 29, 2014 1:51 PM
Oliver told reporters he was very disappointed that the U.S. had delayed the decision on Friday "yet again."

Maybe that's because the issue is being adjudicated by the Supreme Court of the State of Nebraska.


by: John from: Las Vegas
April 25, 2014 4:57 AM
You treehumpers will be the downfall of the United States. You only want wind and solar. That does not generate enough power to compete with the rest of the world. Coal, oil, and natural gas is our only hope.
When you completely ruin our economic I will show you how to cook rattlesnake mean on a Bunsen Burner.


by: Chris Rolin from: Skippack, PA.
April 24, 2014 1:45 PM
We are totally against the oil movement.Does this have to be a political issue?We are American taxpayers who love our country.This big business, government supported (all about money of course) movement is not favorable to our people or our environment.Let's vote these money hungry politicians OUT.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid