Thousands of opponents of a $7 billion pipeline that would boost U.S. dependence on Canadian oil sands plan to get arrested in protests over the next two weeks that they hope will help persuade the Obama administration to kill the project.
The State Department is set to issue a final environmental impact report this month on the Keystone XL pipeline project that would bring oil sands petroleum from Alberta to Texas refineries. The department hopes to make a final decision on the TransCanada Corp line by the end of the year.
Beginning on Saturday, protesters from all of the country's 50 states plan to linger in an area outside the White House where they are likely to be arrested, organizers say. They plan to conduct the civil disobedience citing what they see as the pipe's risks to the environment in waves of 100 people a day.
Bill McKibben, an environment writer and leader of the protest, said the Keystone project would likely be President Barack Obama's biggest climate decision between now and next year's election.
"Since Obama finally has a decision that he gets to make all on his own, without the Congress in the way, we are so hopeful that Obama will shine through," McKibben said.