Protesters target tanker truck in effort to stop Canadian oil


It is latest bit of protest news for TransCanada, the pipeline company trying to connect Houston to Canadian tar sands.

Valero wants the Canadian oil. They've said so before. But it's not coming anytime soon. Remember, the president still hasn't approved the pipeline. Nonetheless, protesters on Thursday set out to embarrass a pipeline customer in hopes to make the whole project unattractive.

It was at best an indirect target. The Houston Valero refinery is huge sure, but it's not owned by the pipeline company. Valero will be a customer once it's completed.

Protesters say bringing tar sands to Houston would create even more pollution in our area.

"It's an unfair burden that Valero is putting on this community by investing in tar sands and bringing those toxic chemicals here to be refined," said Ramsey Sprague with the Tar Sands Blockade.

To highlight their concern, two protesters attached themselves to tanker trucks with bike locks. Once Houston firefighters gingerly cut the locks off, the pair was arrested, but they plan to hunger strike in jail.

Valero says it didn't affect operations. SkyEye HD did see a truck backing up to avoid the protest, and protesters sent us an image of a trucks backed up trying to get in.

"Today was a good success," Sprague said.

But Valero says it's a confusing one. The company tells us it has no plans to bring tar sands crude to Houston. If the pipeline is ever approved from Canada, Valero would bring the tar sands to Port Arthur instead.

The protest was organized by the same group that slowed construction in North Texas earlier this fall by climbing trees in the path of construction to protest the pipeline and use of eminent domain.

Trans-Canada, the company building the pipeline, says the protest has not affected work. TransCanada also say they have no idea when the cross-border portion of the pipeline will be approved.

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