Police arrest 65 near White House in oil protest

August 20, 2011 - 6:25 PM
Tar Sands Pipeline Protest

A U.S. Park Police officer handcuffs and arrests a protestor over a proposed pipeline to bring tar sands oil to the U.S. from Canada, in front of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dozens of environmentalist protesters have been arrested outside the White House on the first day of a planned two-week protest over a proposed oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Park Police spokesman David Schlosser tells WJLA-TV that 65 people were arrested Saturday. The protest is scheduled to run through Sept. 3.

The protesters want President Barack Obama to deny a permit for the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline. It would go through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas to refineries in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas.

Protester Gus Speth, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Wall Street Journal the pipeline would continue the nation's reliance on fossil fuels.

TransCanada says its pipeline would provide jobs and needed oil.