For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Stefan Warner, Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, 405-283-6140, GPTSRMedia@gmail.com

Great Plains Tar Sands Resistances (GPTSR)

Two Lifelong Oklahomans Halt Construction of Keystone XL Work Site

BRYAN COUNTY, Okla. - Two lifelong Oklahomans have effectively halted construction on an active work site for TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Bennington, Oklahoma.

Eric Whelan, 26, who grew up in McLoud, Okla., has ascended 40 feet into the air in an aerial blockade that began at dawn this morning.

Gwen Ingram of Luther, Okla., 56, has locked herself to heavy machinery and shut down the construction site.

Ingram and Whelan have blockaded the work site for TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to prevent it from poisoning Oklahoma's water.

Today’s event marks the fourth act of civil disobedience by Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance and comes in the wake of the disastrous tar sands pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas.

For the last three weeks, over 300,000 gallons of tar sands diluted bitumen have spilled into a residential neighborhood and local waterways.

"Keystone XL sounded like a bad idea from the beginning," explained Whelan. "The Mayflower spill proves that we shouldn't be trusting these multi-national corporations, like Exxon or TransCanada, because every spill further exposes their criminal incompetence. Now TransCanada wants to build a toxic pipeline through the center of the country.

“I’m taking action to prevent a tragedy like that from happening in Oklahoma."

The corrosive nature of tar sands makes pipelines more prone to leaks than transporting crude oil, as evidenced by the Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline burst in Mayflower, Ark.

When spills inevitably do occur, the heavier diluted bitumen sinks in water and into the water table. Keystone XL's proposed route cuts through the heartland of North America, crossing the Arbuckle Simpson and Edwards Trinity Aquifer in Oklahoma.

"The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would carry the dirtiest fuel on the planet from Canada to America's Gulf Coast's refineries and ports, and then overseas for export," said Gwen Ingram before locking herself to TransCanada’s heavy machinery.

"I simply won’t allow this pipeline to cross our precious rivers; the North and South Canadian, The Red River, The Cimmaron and threaten our drinking water."

###

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Great Plains Tar Sands Resistances (GPTSR) is a direct action coalition of organizations and individuals across Oklahoma and the Great Plains who oppose all forms of tar sands exploitation. GPTSR engages in nonviolent civil disobedience in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline's construction and expresses explicit support for indigenous peoples' defense of ancestral lands.

Share This Article

More in: