Hundreds of protesters against the Keystone Pipeline XL were arrested right outside the White House. The activist group, known as XL Dissent, led the charge against the production of the Keystone Pipeline XL. For their efforts, they were arrested but their united voice was heard.
The Keystone Pipeline XL is a major project the president is planning in coordination with Canada and Mexico. The plan is to build a large pipeline for the transportation and distribution of oil, initiating from Canada, going through the United States, and ending in Mexico. Talks were heard about this plan for the longest time, but it seems that underneath Obama’s tenure, it is finally going to happen. Land has already been bought and set aside for the project and contracts for its development are in the bidding. Also, it is believed the project would do two major things for the United States economy:
1. It will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, especially from the Middle East. This is expected to lower the cost of oil in the United States, from refining, transportation, and storage, which in turn would lower the price on oil-based products such as gasoline.
2. It will create more jobs in the United States Economy. According to USA Today, the estimated numbers for jobs for the pipeline are 3,900 one-year construction jobs, 38,200 indirect ones, and 50 jobs during operation. Keystone’s owner, Calgary-based TransCanada, says the pipeline would generate about 9,000 construction jobs.
Even with these predicted positives, the Keystone Pipeline XL has come under numerous protests from front-line activists to green companies and organizations. As reported in The Huffington Post, 350.org co-founder, Bill McKibben wrote in an email:
“An entire movement has thrown itself into in this Keystone fight, from local frontline groups to big national green organizations. But this weekend shows the power and bravery of some of the most crucial elements: young people, and activists who understand the centrality of environmental justice.”
The scenario presented at the White House was amazing. Some of the acts of defiance looked like scenes from a dystopian nove with over 1,000 people. Most of them were students, which also included an activist group known as the MICATS (Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands). Some of the students made a scene of what an oil spill would look like as seen in the picture above, while some students even went as far as tying themselves to the White House fence.
In conclusion, Obama now has a choice to make. He can either side with the Keystone Pipeline XL, or he can side with the youth who voted for him expecting change. It seems the allowance of hundreds being arrested at the protest kind of shows where Obama stands.