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Actress Daryl Hannah, 73 citizens arrested at White House oil pipeline protest

More than 100 citizens, including actress Daryl Hannah, were arrested when they joined the largest civil disobedience on climate change in US history. At issue is the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, now the top environmental decision on President Obama’s desk before the 2012 election.

Over 20 concerned citizens also held signs in Minnesota outside the president’s event calling on him to deny TransCanada a presidential permit to build the pipeline.

“It’s clear that this message is spreading out of Washington fast,” said Bill McKibben, who is helping to lead the protests. “This has become the test for the president to show the country and the global community that he’s serious about climate change.”

Tomorrow, Oil Change International will release a new briefing paper that finds that much of the oil in the pipeline is earmarked for export, undercutting TransCanada’s message that the oil will decrease US dependence on oil from overseas and conflict zones.

Julian E. Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, told the New York Times that the President could not afford to take these activists for granted in 2012. “I think a year ago President Obama felt he could do things that might alienate his base and organizations important to the Democratic Party and get away with it because in the end most Democrats wouldn’t go for a Republican,” Mr. Zelizer said. “Now he might pay a price for it.”



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