grandmother nancy zorn, 79, has locked herself to a piece of heavy machinery effectively halting construction on transcanada’s keystone xl toxic tar sands pipeline in allen, oklahoma. this action comes in the wake of the disastrous tar sands pipeline spill in mayflower arkansas, where an estimated 80,000 gallons of tar sands spilled into a residential neighborhood and local waterways.
using a bike-lock, zorn has attached her neck directly to an excavator, which has brought construction of keystone xl to a stop. zorn is the second oklahoma grandmother this year risking arrest to stop construction of the pipeline.
exxon mobil’s recent pegasus pipeline spill has forced local residents to evacuate their homes due to life-threatening toxins released into their neighborhood. local families have experienced episodes of nausea, headaches, and respiratory problems due to acute exposure to deadly chemicals, like benzene, that are mixed in with the raw tar sands. pegasus was carrying up to 90,000 barrels of tar sands a day before it ruptured and spilled. the keystone xl pipeline is slated to carry over 800,000 barrels a day; an alarming 10 times the amount of tar sands.
"in the last two weeks alone there have been at least six different inland oil spills across the country,” said eric wheeler, an oklahoma native and spokesperson for great plains tar sands resistance. “it’s time to stop referring to pipeline spills as accidents, it’s now abundantly clear that leaks are just part of business as usual. tar sands hurt everyone they touch, from the indigenous communities in alberta whose water is being poisoned, to the gulf coast communities that are forced to breathe toxic refinery emissions."
10:30am update: nancy zorn has been extracted by local law and taken into custody. please consider contributing to nancy’s bail fund.