Keystone Oil Pipeline Opponent Speaks In Sherman - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Keystone Oil Pipeline Opponent Speaks In Sherman

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Construction work on the Keystone Gulf Coast Project in Atoka County in March Construction work on the Keystone Gulf Coast Project in Atoka County in March
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SHERMAN, TX -- The part of the Keystone pipeline that went through Texoma is done. But opponents, including a Washington attorney who visited Texoma say they're still fighting the rest of the pipeline before it's too late.

An Austin College graduate, Anthony Swift, back for Homecoming, told students that he's fighting the Keystone pipeline, which he says is draining the bottom of the barrel.

"It's much more carbon-intensive than conventional crude, so that means that if we develop this resource, we really are losing ground in our efforts to deal with climate change," says Swift, a Natural Resources Defense Council attorney.

The pipeline is already in the ground after construction work near Coalgate, Bennington, and Paris -- including pipeline opponent Julia Trigg Crawford's Lamar County property -- over the past year.

"There is a southern part of the Keystone XL pipeline which is really right now connecting Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast, but until they build the northern part, they can't get the tar sands into it," says Swift.

Swift says that the matter is due to come before President Obama sometime early next year, and his organization NRDC is encouraging the president not to approve of that pipeline.

"President Obama is the one who approved the Gulf expansion project to happen," says Tar Sands Blockade activist Aly Tharp. "In March of 2012, he came to Cushing, Oklahoma, and he said you can fast track the Southern section, so we've seen in Texas a lot of eminent domain, abuse, a lot of no public hearings, which is typical, no assessment of individual waterways."

The Tar Sands Blockade fought the pipeline, claiming credit for a Coal County arrest back in April, and Tharp says portions are already being dug up to be checked.

"This particular pipeline I think is gonna be a big mistake especially considering tar sands and how destructive it is to really wonderful forests in Canada," says Katie Mascucci of the college environmental studies department.

"We should definitely improve our pipeline system if we cannot find a new source of energy," says freshman Ethan Brem.

Swift says most of the product will be sent around the world, so it won't help cut gas prices. "The United States has been using less oil, I mean we use about 2 million barrels a day less oil than we did just 6 years ago," says Swift.

Transcanada officials say the pipeline is safe, will create jobs, and that it will reduce the amount of oil America imports from Venezuela and the Middle East.