Perhaps the earthquake chased them away today, but the promised thousands of protesters of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline has thus far only amounted to an embarrassing 220. At this rate this we will be lucky to see a thousand people arrested. Undoubtedly, the DC police are breathing a long sigh of relief.
The minimalist narrative is hard to explain at this point with celebrities like Margot Kidder and Tantoo Cardinal lending their names and reputation to such a noble cause.
"Keystone XL is a bullet line to the Gulf Coast. It's going to take the Midwest's existing supply and export it overseas," says Salmon.
In an aggressive media campaign, TransCanada consistently repeats that Keystone is all about increasing U.S. energy security versus "continuing to import unstable, higher priced crude oil from the Middle East and Venezuela." When Tierramérica asked TransCanada about the potential for exports, they did not respond before deadline.
"If you connect the dots, it points to exports. Americans don't know this yet," said Olsen.
Europe is the major market for diesel, since most cars and trucks there run on diesel. However, there are no oil pipelines to either of Canada's coasts, so it gets little if any tar sands oil.
And yet a European proposal to label and put a penalty on tar sands diesel as "dirty" because of its high carbon content provoked a huge outcry by the Canadian government and the oil industry in 2010.