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

    US Watching as North Korea Opens Biggest Political Meeting in Decades

    As Workers' Party Congress opens, Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    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.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora