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Daryl Hannah, James Hansen Arrested At Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Protest

Climate Scientist James Hansen

Protests outside of the White House over the Keystone XL pipeline rose to a new level as climate scientist James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was arrested.

As one of the first scientists to point out global warming, he allegedly yelled into a microphone to Obama that he needs to act “for the sake of your children and grandchildren.”

Hansen wasn’t the only protester arrested. There were also 142 others who were thrown in cuffs, including actress Daryl Hannah. So far, more than 500 protesters have been arrested since August 20.

Hansen and 20 other scientists sent a letter to Obama urging to halt construction of the pipeline. In the letter they stated “If the pipeline is to be built, you as president have to declare that it is in the national interest. As scientists, speaking for ourselves and not for any of our institutions, we can say categorically that it’s not only in the national interest, it’s also not in the planet’s best interest.”

The purpose of the pipeline is to transport tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Texas and Oklahoma. There is clearly plenty of controversy surrounding the proposed pipeline, as the amount of oil being piped south creates a high risk of spills throughout the route. In addition, emissions from extracting and refining the tar sands oil far excede more conventional forms of oil extraction.

Critics say there is potential for the pipeline to impact ground water, including the Northern High Plains Aquifer, which supplies 78% of the public water supply, 83% of Nebraska’s irrigation water, and 30% of the water used for irrigation and agriculture in the United States.

Additional concern has arisen due to the fact that more than 200 public water supply wells are within a mile of the proposed centerline, and 40 private wells are within 100 feet of it. Not to mention that the form of oil to be piped is the dirtiest and most disgusting form of petroleum in existence. Is it really worth risking water supplies for?

Now that so many arrests have been made, do you think Obama and his Administration will start to take the environmental impact into consideration?

Via Triplepundit
Image CC licensed by chesapeakeclimate: James Hansen

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