Thursday, January 31, 2013

TEXAS TARSANDS ACTION Blockader disrupts oil and gas pipeline conference

BREAKING: Blockader Disrupts Oil & Gas Pipeline Conference

UPDATE: 12:00 PM – Ramsey has been arrested. Demonstrate your support and contribute to his bail here.
PHOTO: Ramsey Sprague being detained by police. Ramsey took the opportunity to educate the officers on the dangers of tar sand exploitation.

UPDATE: 11:00 AM – 3 detained blockaders are now being released and escorted away
UPDATE: 10:30 AM - 3 blockaders who are supporting Ramsey have been detained
BREAKING – 9:30 AM: Activist interrupts pipeline conference, releases photos of flawed welds on Keystone XL pipeline.
Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel, The Woodlands, TX – 9 AM this morning, TransCanada executive Tom Hamilton’s presentation of a Keystone XL case study at the Pipe Tech Americas 2013 conference was interrupted when a blockader chained himself to audio equipment and delivered a speech to the nearly 300 attendees. Hamilton, the Manager of Quality and Compliance for the Keystone Pipeline, was supposed to give a forty-minute talk about safety and regulations related to the southern portion of the KXL pipeline. Instead, Tar Sands Blockade organizer Ramsey Sprague gave an impassioned rebuttal highlighting TransCanada’s poor safety record.
For several minutes before security disassembled the audio equipment and took him away, Sprague described shoddy welding practices and dangerous corner-cutting throughout TransCanada’s operations as exposed by whistleblowers like Evan Vokes, a metallurgic engineer who came forward in May 2012, leading to an investigation by Canada’s National Energy Board. Sprague reminded attendees that TransCanada’s first Keystone pipeline has already leaked over 30 times and that other industry leaders such as Enbridge are similarly negligent, with over 800 spills since 1999. He derided TransCanada for routing the KXL pipeline through ecologically sensitive areas and through communities like the one in Douglass, TX, where construction crews are actively laying pipe within sight of the Douglass public school.
“TransCanada’s safety record is beyond deplorable,” said Ramsey Sprague, “Their wanton disregard for the health of our communities is demonstrated by their countless toxic tar sands spills. I’m compelled to take action today and shed light on the dangerous material this multinational corporation is pumping through our homes.”
Sprague also described how activists who blockaded themselves inside the actual KXL pipe on December 3rd could see daylight through holes in welds connecting segments of pipe – and how Tar Sands Blockade has the pictures to prove it. That mile-long section of the pipe was laid in the ground on the same day; no additional welding or inspection occurred after the photos were taken.

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