More than 20 arrests in Keystone XL protest

June 18, 2013 at 8:12 AM
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CHICAGO, June 18 (UPI) -- More than 20 activists were arrested in Chicago Monday while demonstrating against the Keystone XL oil pipeline, an advocacy group said.

Rainforest Action Network said it organized a protest in President Obama's hometown to voice opposition to the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline which would bring tar sands oil from Canada to U.S. refineries.

Obama needs to sign off on a permit for Keystone XL because it would cross the U.S. border with Canada

RAN said 22 activists were arrested for trespassing while protesting in front of the building housing offices of the U.S. State Department. The Chicago Tribune reported about 30 demonstrators showed up. Authorities said the protest was peaceful.

The State Department is taking comments on a draft environmental review of the pipeline published early this year. Last week, the Sierra Club sued the State Department, saying its pipeline review was influenced by the oil industry.

RAN Energy Director Amanda Starbuck said demonstrations against Keystone are just a taste of what to expect should the project be approved.

"People are ready for their government to take urgent action on the climate and they are willing to risk arrest to get it," she said in a statement.

Pipeline supporters say the project would ensure North American energy security. Opponents worry about the environmental side effects of the pipeline.

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