October 11, 2012. Source: Tar Sands Blockade
Note: Texas just keeps inspiring us more and more each day. Check out Tar Sands Blockade for more info on how you can support the campaign to stop the Keystone XL pipeline dead in its tracks
-The GJEP Team
Moments ago TransCanada’s workers arrived in a nature preserve in East Texas to continue clear cutting a swath of old growth forest for Keystone XL — but today they encountered something they hadn’t accounted for: Kevin Redding.
Inspired by the sustained tree blockade near Winnsboro, Texas thats in its third week, Kevin, a lifelong Texan, decided to take action. Early this morning he climbed up a tree in the West End Nature Preserve outside Mt. Vernon, Texas and intends to stay there until TransCanada halts the destruction of the wilderness and stops endangering our drinking water. Check back on this live blog for more breaking updates as this story develops.
Today we tip our ten gallon hats to Kevin and hope that he’ll not only be able to delay clear-cutting today, but for days to come.
We don’t know how long we’ll be able to hold them off here but we know one thing: we’ll continue fighting until we stop this dangerous pipeline — permanently. Sign up now to join one of our upcoming actions.
It is Kevin who best describes his spur of the moment decision to climb the tree: “I want to defend our Texas wilderness from a multinational corporation’s blatant disregard for our landscape and clean water. I’m here to defend my landowner friends and their families from toxic tar sands spills that would poison their drinking water.” Help share Kevin’s story on Facebook and Twitter.
Kevin intends to prevent TransCanada’s clearing crews from cutting a wide scar of destruction through the 455-acre land preserve. Unlike a crude oil pipeline, tar sands sludge must be heated to extreme temperatures to be pumped through the pipe. The Keystone I pipeline, Keystone XL’s predecessor, has leaked 12 times in its first year of operation alone. Keystone XL would carry a more toxic pipe-corroding substance that could result in upwards of 1.7 million gallons a day of spilled sludge without even triggering TransCanada’s leak detection system.
Keystone XL would cross the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer that supplies fresh water to 10-12 million Texans. The aquifer is essential to the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers across the region that depend on it for survival. The Preserve is also a sanctuary home to many species of migratory birds, panthers, and even black bear. These terrifying facts are deeply troubling to families living in the region.
“The beautiful Cypress Creek that flows through the preserve feeds thousands of acres of local lakes, including my own,” attests nearby landowner Larry Coleman. “When this pipeline leaks, Cypress Springs Lake will never again be safe for fishing or swimming.” Stopping this pipeline is about the survival of our way of life.
Though Kevin may be the only one up a tree in the Nature Preserve, he’s not alone. His friends are just 30 minutes south in the sustained tree blockade.
Kevin’s brave actions today to defend Texas wilderness and water are admirable. Taking a stand to defend our homes is far less risky than the costs of doing nothing. We need more people like Kevin who are willing to take a stand and put us a day closer to our collective vision for a world free of poisonous tar sands.