WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Phil Radford, executive directer of Greenpeace USA, was among hundreds of people arrested Tuesday in front of the White House protesting a heavy crude pipeline.
Kerri-Ann Jones, assistant secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, said last week Keystone XL could be developed without causing major damage to the environment. The pipeline would bring oil from tar sands projects in Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Texas.
Despite several leaks on the existing Keystone network, TransCanada said Keystone XL would be among the safest pipelines in the world.
"Tar sands will mean the destruction of ancient Boreal Forests; poisoning of our environment; and human health hazards at all stages of extraction," Greenpeace countered in a statement.
Pipeline company Enbridge is still working to clean up a spill of Alberta crude left over from a ruptured pipeline in southern Michigan more than a year after the initial accident.
Supporters of the project say it would go a long way toward reducing U.S. dependency on foreign oil. A recent campaign by EthicalOil.org adds human rights to the argument, saying opposition to Keystone XL is tantamount to supporting the repression of women in Saudi Arabia.