Could "Occupy Wall Street" spin off an "Occupy Pipeline" protest? According to Alec Baldwin, that may be the perfect recipe for magnifying the public outcry against the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline.
The project, which would stretch more than 1,700 miles from Canada's tar sands to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, has been a target of environmental groups, with hundreds arrested last month outside the White House in protest. Celebrities including Mark Ruffalo, Daryl Hannah, Robert Redford, Kyra Sedgwick and Ian Somerhalder have spoken out against its construction.
"If approved, the pipeline construction would allow greater exploitation of the environmentally destructive tar sands, ripping up some of the world's last, most intact rain forests and wildlife habitat that has taken 10,000 years to evolve," Hannah wrote with Greenpeace director Philip Radford. "The pipeline also threatens communities along its route with toxic oil spills. And by opening a new source of highly polluting tar sands, it could cause even more global warming, as James Hansen and 19 other prominent climate scientists have warned. This is why Keystone XL is opposed by Nebraskan ranchers, communities near the dangerous refineries in Texas, the nation's largest environmental organizations, and so many more."
Yesterday, Baldwin joined the growing chorus fighting the pipeline by suggesting over Twitter that people converge on the project's HQ in Omaha, Neb. "Keystone Pipeline is HQ'ed in Omaha," he wrote, adding the hashtag: "#OccupyKeystonePipeline"
Baldwin, who recently visited with Occupy Wall Street protestors, also linked to a NY Times article that describes TransCanada’s threats against American property owners to use eminent domain to obtain the land for the project.
In a 2010 Huffington Post article written right after the historic spill in the Gulf, the 53-year-old expressed his disgust at Big Oil and urged Americans to push the country in a greener direction.
"The Gulf of Mexico, at least that part of it that is ours to maintain and fish and enjoy, belongs to every American," he wrote. "Just like the Great Lakes, the Grand Canyon, Monterey Bay, The Rocky Mountains, Cape Cod, Park Avenue, the Lincoln Memorial, the Little League ball field in your town, the place you have coffee at every morning, or take yoga or the place you go to have coffee and make fun of yoga. What is happening down there is happening to you and to me. Because resources like the Gulf ARE this country. They belong to us. And if you aren't so goddamned fed up with this crap from the oil industry that you want to scream, then maybe you need to have some tar balls fall out of the sky on to your front lawn before you get it."
To learn more about the environmental consequences of the pipeline, jump here.