The Norman Transcript

Local news

February 17, 2013

Norman woman arrested in Keystone XL Pipeline protest

NORMAN — Earlier this month a retired teacher from Norman sat down, chained herself to construction equipment with bike locks and protested the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Elisabeth Leja, 74, was arrested for the incident in Okfuskee County and is facing trespassing charges but, it’s not something she regrets, she said.

“I thought, that since I’m at the age that I am, if someone’s got to do this and somebody’s got to be arrested, it might as well be people who aren’t going to be looking for a job later,” Leja said. “If someone’s going to be arrested, it might as well be older people.”

Authorities had to cut the cable lock she used to chain herslef to the equipment being that is being used to construct the 485-mile pipeline.

Leja is a part of a coalition that protested on Highway 62 in between Paden and Boley, Okla. on Feb. 4 where TransCanada crews were working on the project. A week later, eight others were arrested for protesting at a site near Schoolton, Okla.

Leja, and many others involved in the coalition, are concerned for Oklahoma’s waterways and the health of future generations. When the $7 billion project is completed, it will transport diluted bitumen from Canada’s oil sands through the Great Plains. It is slated to transport it from Cushing, Okla. through east Texas to refineries in Houston and Port Arthur.

“The North Canadian river, which the Keystone XL crosses just south of here, isn’t something that we can compromise,” Leja said. “These two years of drought have made our waterways even more sacred, and the dilbit they want to put in that pipeline is just crazy, it isn’t safe.”

A press release sent out by the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance coalition group stated that the corrosive nature of diluted bitimen makes pipelines prone to leaks and when spills occur, the heavier diluted bitumen sinks into the water table.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Music festival in its seventh year

    In its seventh year, Norman Music Festival is once again packing downtown Norman with the sounds of local, national and international music for three days of entertainment....

    April 21, 2014

  • Two homes engulfed in flame

    Norman firefighters responded to a structure fire early Sunday morning to find two homes engulfed in flames. Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bailey said crews performed searches on both structures, but found no occupants in the homes at 1412 and ...

    April 21, 2014

  • OU grad crowned Cherry Blossom Queen

    Sooner red cowboy boots could barely be seen peaking out from underneath the long, formal white dress Rainey Sewell wore. As a giant Wheel of Fortune was spun at the 2014 National Conference of State Societies’ Cherry Blossom Queen ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Five receive honorary degrees

    Four individuals will join University of Oklahoma Commencement speaker Wendy Kopp, CEO and co-founder of Teach For All, and Founder and chair of Teach For America, in being awarded honorary degrees at OU’s 2014 Commencement Ceremony, ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Norman transplants have ties to their home

    Taylor Newcomb started working full time at Weichert Realty in January. One March day he noticed a young woman talking with another employee in the office. He thought she looked familiar, might even be the sister of one of his classmates ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Sooner awarded Truman Scholarship

    A University of Oklahoma National Merit Scholar and Honors student has been selected as a recipient of the Truman Scholarship. Alexis Taitel won the prestigious award based on her leadership potential, intellectual ability and the ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Club to spotlight literacy

    The Altrusa International Club of Norman will sponsor its “Red Dirt Roundup” event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Lowry Room of the Norman Public Library, 225 N. Webster Ave....

    April 21, 2014

  • Rebuilding Together begins

    Rebuilding Together Cleveland County, formerly known as Christmas in April, is a small branch of the national organization Rebuilding Together. Rebuilding Together leads the nation in unifying volunteers to improve the lives of low-income ...

    April 21, 2014

  • OU interns to present entrepreneurial ventures

    After four months of hard work, some of the University of Oklahoma’s top student talent will present recommendations for its entrepreneurial projects to key stakeholders from the university and the Oklahoma City metro area at 6 p.m. on ...

    April 21, 2014