Protesters take pipeline complaints straight to Congressman - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Protesters take pipeline complaints straight to Congressman

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) – Jobs, landowner rights, and the environment are fueling a protest over planned pipeline in East Texas.

Residents took their protests over the Trans Canada Pipeline to a State Congressman.

East Texans filled Mineola City Hall, not to hear a progress report from Rep. Jeb Hensarling, but to fight a planned oil pipeline to Texas.

"We get stuck with the permanency of the pipeline in the ground with the potential that it would leak at some point," said protestor Edward Radillo.

Trans Canada's Keystone XL Pipeline would expand the company's existing pipeline to move oil from Canada to South Texas refineries.

"My guess is that nobody wants a pipeline in their back yard. And I can understand that, but, America needs to be energy independent, and as an interim step, I would at least like to be North American independent," said Hensarling.

It will create jobs, but some say it's not enough.

"We are objecting to the tar sand pipeline coming through here and that the construction jobs and the job growth are simply temporary," argues Edward.

There have been accidents in other states, and protestors don't want that.

"Even if you're not a landowner, you've got to be concerned about this, because this stuff flows," said Patty Radillo, "We are talking about something very dangerous."

"I would much rather rely on Canada than Saudi Arabia," remarked Hensarling, "In principle, if there's a pipeline that can make us less dependent on Saudi Arabia, I support the pipeline. But, it has to abide by our laws."

Some protesters say they just don't trust oil companies.

"The company is lying as to the number of leaks they've had, to the number of jobs that are actually created," says Edward.

They hope their message sticks.

Right now, Trans Canada has not gotten the presidential permit needed to start construction on the pipeline.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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