Tar Sands Blockade

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Tar Sands Blockade
Type of site
Nonviolent Direct Action, Environmental Campaign
Current statusActive
Four tree-sitters of the Tar Sands Blockade at their tree village in Winnsboro, Texas. The "You Shall Not Pass" banner is addressed to TransCanada's pipeline construction workers.

Tar Sands Blockade is a grassroots coalition of affected Texas and Oklahoma people and climate justice organizers who use peaceful and sustained civil disobedience to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Tar Sands Blockade has utilized non-violent direct action to stop construction of the pipeline throughout East Texas including banner drops, lockdowns, and tree sits.[1][2] They are best known for a large scale tree sit outside Winnsboro, Texas.[3][4][5]

Political and Environmental Issues[edit]

TransCanada, a multinational corporation, is currently constructing the Gulf Coast Project section of the Keystone XL with the go ahead from the Obama administration.[6] This section of the pipeline reaches from Oklahoma through East Texas into the Gulf. Anti-XL pipeline activists and environmental organizations claim that probable pipe spillage threatens ground waters, ecosystems, surrounding lands, employment, and the economy .[7][8] The pipeline crosses 631 streams and wetlands in Texas alone, including not only the Sulphur River, but the entire Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer, which is the water supply for 12 million homes in East Texas.[9]

A whistleblower, Evan Vokes, came forward about TransCanada in mid-October, 2012, claiming confirmed allegations of regulatory non-compliance.[10]


  1. ^ "Tar Sands Blockade Drops Banners to Expose Keystone XL Construction". Cherokeean Herald. 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  2. ^ Wilder, Forrest (2012-08-16). "Activists Launch Keystone XL Blockade in East Texas". Texas Observer. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  3. ^ Fabrikant, Mel (2012-09-24). "Eight People Climb Trees And Start Indefinite Tree Sit to Stop TransCanada's Construction of Keystone XL in Texas". The Paramus Post. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  4. ^ Shauk, Zain (2012-09-24). "Protesters in Texas climb trees to block pipeline work". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  5. ^ Frosch, Dan (2012-10-12). "Last-Ditch Bid in Texas to Try to Stop Oil Pipeline". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  6. ^ "Keystone XL Pipeline". The New York Times. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
  7. ^ Skinner, Lara. "Cornell GLI Releases Report on Employment and Economic Impacts of Tar Sands Spills". Cornell University Global Labour Institute.
  8. ^ Skinner, Lara. "The impact of tar sands pipeline spills on employment and the economy" (PDF). Cornell University Global Labour Institute.
  9. ^ Mitchell, Kenny (2012-07-24). "Tar Sands in the Basin: Politics and Protests". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  10. ^ Rusnell, Charles (2012-10-17). "Whistleblower forced investigation of TransCanada Pipelines". CBC News. Retrieved 2012-12-17.