Keystone protester arrested in Oklahoma

Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:52 PM
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NORMAN, Okla., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A protester was arrested after chaining herself to construction machinery used to build the Keystone XL pipeline in Oklahoma.

Retired teacher Elisabeth Leja, 74, of Norman was arrested Monday at an Okfuskee County construction site where TransCanada crews are building the pipeline to transport diluted bitumen from Canada's oil sands through the U.S. Midwest, The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman reported.

Sheriff Jack Choate said Leja was arrested without incident after authorities cut a cable she used to attach herself to a tracked excavating machine.

The protest did not affect work on the project, a Keystone spokesman said.

It was the first incident since TransCanada reached an agreement with three groups and 19 people who have protested the project in Oklahoma, the newspaper said.

"They are prohibited from doing the very thing we saw today. Although the order is effective in Texas and Oklahoma, it is only applicable to the named individuals and organizations," Keystone spokesman Jim Prescott said. The list of names does not include Leja's.

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