5 Creative Ways People Are Fighting the Keystone XL Pipeline

For the past few weeks, all eyes have been on Syria, food stamps, the Colorado floods and Obamacare (again), so don’t feel bad if you’ve forgotten about the Keystone XL pipeline for a bit. That’s what the Government and TransCanada want you to do. Just forget about it. Until it spills all over your backyard, of course.

The good news is that many Americans haven’t forgotten about the Keystone XL, and they’ve come up with some pretty darn clever ways to keep the pressure on the oil companies, the State Department and the Obama Administration.

Here are 5 creative ways people are fighting the Keystone XL Pipeline:

1. Building a Solar-Powered Barn

Nebraska solar-powered barn Keystone XL

In a move that’s both literally and symbolically brilliant, volunteers from BoldNebraska.org are building a barn, which will act as a solar and wind-powered community center, on land directly in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline. Supporters say that if all else fails to stop the pipeline, they’ll protect the barn with their own bodies.

2. Human Oil Spill

Tar sand oil spills, like the one that devastated Mayflower, Ark., earlier this year, have caused many Americans to change their minds about building the Keystone XL. Such spills are not a low-percentage possibility, but thanks to TransCanada’s documented disregard for safe-welding practices, they are a certainty. Some creative protesters in Denver decided to pre-enact such a spill for their elected officials. Dressed all in black, they “spilled” themselves on the lawn of the Denver Civic Center.

3. Funeral for Our Future

Many scientists and climate experts have gone on record to say that building the Keystone XL pipeline would be like signing Mother Nature’s death sentence, taking the human race along with her. So, earlier this year, over 100 youth and their allies showed up at TransCanada’s MA office to mourn their lost future (see video above).

4. Fore!

tar sands blockade Keystone XL Golf Tournament

Oil company executives make lots of money, and if there’s one thing rich people like to do, it’s play golf. Upon learning that the the Valero corporation would be sponsoring a golf tournament in his home town, one Keystone XL protester decided to get creative.

Doug Fahlbusch used his position as a PGA standard bearer for the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio to bring attention to Manchester, a low income, predominately Latin community in Houston’s toxic East End where Valero operates a tar sands refinery that consistently violates EPA and TCEQ (Texas Commission for Environmental Quality) laws and regulations. (FYI: most Keystone XL oil would be shipped to Gulf Coast refineries such as this one for immediate transport overseas).

“Once the tournament reached the 18th hole, Doug changed the sign, ordinarily used to display the players’ names and scores, to read “TAR SANDS SPILL. VALERO KILLS. ANSWER MANCHESTER,” reports Tar Sands Blockade. “He refused to leave the green and was dragged the entire way off the premises by police.”

5. A Line in the (Tar) Sand

Just days ago, thousands of people in hundreds of places across the U.S. joined together in a nationwide action called “Draw the Line.” Organized by 350.0rg, the protests encouraged local pipeline opponents to literally form a line against sections of the pipeline–sending a clear message that America has no interest in allowing the world’s dirtiest form of fuel to flow through its heartland.

“350 Seattle had more than a thousand people draw the line between the Puget Sound and the train tracks that could lead to exporting an inflated fossil fuel dependency. In Texas, folks drew the line against the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline right on TransCanada’s home turf. In New Orleans, a marching band drew the line against continued threats to the Gulf Coast communities,” reports Nation of Change.

Lead photo credit: Tar Sands Blockade, Photo Credit: Bold Nebraska, Photo Credit: Tar Sands Blockade


Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Chris C.
Chris C4 years ago

We need alternative energy...NOT more polluting oil.

Robert O.
Robert O4 years ago

Thanks Beth. People are going to have to be more creative and implicit in fighting this environmental monstrosity.

Carol P.
Carol P4 years ago

If all eyes had been on the Colorado floods, they would have mentioned the oil leaks already coming from fracking wells caused by the floods.

mary r.
Mary R4 years ago


Carole R.
Carole R4 years ago


Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin4 years ago

thanks for sharing

Danuta Watola
Danuta W4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Franck Rio
Past Member 4 years ago


Janet Bradley
Janet Bradley4 years ago

Heroes, all of them! :)