East Texans protest opening of Keystone pipeline's southern leg

An East Texas organization will protest TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline Wednesday. NacSTOP aims to draw attention to the dangers of transporting tar sands crude. The group was organized three years ago to stall construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline that runs from Cushing, Okla., to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

Farmer Julia Trigg Crawford has watched the pipeline being built in her pasture in Direct, Texas.
Credit Kate Archer Kent

The so-called Cushing MarketLink segment, 485 miles, began operating today and will be able to transport up to 830,000 barrels per day. The pipeline cuts through Nacagdoches County.  Area landowners launched the Texas Pipeline Watch to keep a close lookout for any leaks.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration cited hundreds of construction problems in letters sent to TransCanada last year.  The northern leg of the pipeline had 14 spills during its first 14 months of operation.

Wednesday's light brigade begins at 6:30 p.m. at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.