Day 68: Ron and I were up most of the night (got 3 hours of sleep, tops) preparing for our street theatre media event at TransCanada’s Houston headquarters. So tired by now, I practically sleepwalked through it, but it came off well. Twelve pipeline fighters lined up in front of TransCanada’s Houston headquarters and, one by one, opened gift boxes containing twelve of the most egregious lies and abuses TransCanada is giving the world through their proposed Keystone XL pipeline and tar sands exploitation. Here are the 12 Disgraces (in no particular order): 1) Toxic Tar (not oil), 2) Ecocide, 3) Human Rights Abuses, 4) Eminent Domain Abuses, 5) Lies about Jobs, 6) Lies about Energy Independence, 7) Pipeline Leaks, 8) Polluted Water, 9) Environmental Injustice, 10) Climate Chaos, 11) Higher Fuel Prices, and 12) Undermining the Green Industrial Revolution.
During the event, on the sidewalk outside the office building where TransCanada takes up several floors, several well dressed executives walked past with their security detail to their black, tinted window SUVs with dismissive smirks on their faces. For me, it immediately brought to mind the arrogance of Ken Lay and the Enron meltdown.
We later attempted to return the “gifts” to TransCanada, with decidedly mixed results. Security stopped the larger group, but Ron Seifert, Bryan Parra and Hope Sanford got into an elevator, where they began chatting with a friendly TransCanada employee. When they got to the office door, which was supposed to be locked, it opened, prompting the employee to say, “That’s not supposed to happen.” He then took them to his office cubicle, where they opened the “gifts.” Right about then, two big burly security guards confronted them, told them they needed to leave, and showed them the door. Despite repeated attempts to identify someone to come down and accept the other nine gifts, we were told we would have to mail them, so that’s just what Hope is going to do.
Afterwards, met up with Scott Parkin, Phillip Walker (thanks for lunch) & Bryan Parra (thanks for the coffee) at a bustling local coffee shop, before Ron headed off to the airport (thanks, Neil Carmen, for so generously picking up his flight) to join his family for the holidays. I can’t thank Ron Seifert enough for helping me take the “Tour of Resistance” to a whole new level. Ron literally “quit his job and became voluntarily homeless” to fight this ecodical pipeline project. In addition to selflessly supporting me for most of the ride, we rode together through most of Oklahoma and Texas, managing to double the size of the Ride for Renewables. It was a journey I know neither of us will ever forget.
Ended the day by doing this 9-minute interview with Marlo Blue at KPFT FM Radio in Houston before shuttling back to Beaumont for tomorrow’s final push into Port Arthur: http://tinyurl.com/7tgl4fc.