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Hannah freed following arrest in pipeline protest
Question of the Day
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reported (bit.ly/QMlAo1) Saturday that Hannah was freed on $2,500 bond Thursday night, but faces criminal trespass charges. Her release came hours after being arrested in Winnsboro, about 100 miles east of Dallas.
Hannah and 78-year-old Eleanor Fairchild were arrested after blocking heavy equipment in an attempt to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through Fairchild’s land. Fairchild was released on a personal recognizance bond.
Hannah has long opposed TransCanada’s construction of the $7 billion pipeline, which is designed to transport heavy tar-sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas’ Gulf Coast refineries. Known for roles in dozens of movies, including “Splash” and “Kill Bill,” Hannah also was arrested in August 2011 while protesting the pipeline in Washington.
“When people engage in civil disobedience, it’s a last resort,” Bassis told the Telegraph. “They do it after local, state and federal agencies fail, after the courts fail, after everything else has failed.”
TransCanada said in a statement Thursday that it’s “unfortunate Ms. Hannah and other out-of-state activists have chosen to break the law by illegally trespassing on private property.”
Pipeline opponents argue the project is unsafe because it would be carrying heavy, acidic crude oil that could more easily corrode a metal pipe, which would lead to a spill. They also say refining the oil would further contaminate the air in a region that has long struggled with pollution.
TransCanada says its pipeline would be the safest ever built, and that the crude is no dirtier than oil currently arriving from Venezuela or parts of California.
The company began construction of that portion of the pipeline this summer after receiving the necessary permits. Some Texas landowners, joined by activists, have tried through various protests to stop or slow down construction.
Fairchild complained to the newspaper about the “pushy, bullying” tactics used by TransCanada to take her land by eminent domain. She said she never signed a land agreement with the company.
“I don’t think there is an even playing field for the landowners and the pipeline company,” she told the Telegraph. “Most people can’t fight these big companies so they take what they want.”
“I am not a pro at protesting, but I think it makes more of a statement to be arrested,” she told the newspaper. “They need to know landowners like me are being trampled.”
By Matt Kibbe
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