President Obama is in Cushing, Okla., where he issued a specific memorandum to federal agencies, not just to build, but to expedite the approval of the southern leg of the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline.
Many concerned citizens are also in Cushing today. Indigenous communities, landowners, environmentalists, and Occupy activists showed up strong in spirit in opposition to the pipeline.
But they weren't at the pipe yard from which President Obama trumpeted his plan to expedite the southern segment -- a pipe yard owned by TransCanada, the Canadian oil company backing Keystone XL. These concerned citizens were fenced into a "free speech zone" six miles away from where President Obama stood, threatened with arrest if they attempted to leave the designated area.
Why does this concern me? I am David Daniel, a carpenter and landowner living in Winnsboro, a small community of 3,000 in East Texas. The southern leg of the pipeline, if approved, would cut straight through my property and the heart of my community. This pipeline would carry tar-sands oil -- the world’s dirtiest oil -- from Cushing, Okla., past my home to refineries in Texas.