Five Corners demonstration protests Keystone pipeline

From left: Alden Besse, Chris Rigger, and Chris Fried of the group 350 Martha’s Vineyard Island protest the Keystone XL pipeline. — Photo courtesy of Chris Fried

Braving sleet and snow Monday, about 12 people from the environmental group 350 Martha’s Vineyard Island (350 MVI) held an hour-long vigil at the Five Corners intersection to demand that President Barack Obama reject the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

The $5.4 billion pipeline would carry crude oil from tar sands in western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The Vineyard demonstration was one of hundreds of similar rallies across the country Monday urging President Obama to reject the pipeline.

“We’re trying to get the word out so that people will know that there are many people on the Vineyard who are concerned about the environment,” said Chris Fried, a member of 350 MVI. “It’s a huge project to build and maintain such a pipeline with the potential of doing some very serious damage. We don’t think that the Keystone pipeline is a necessary pipeline.”

Pipeline supporters say it will create thousands of jobs and move the U.S. toward North American energy independence.

The project needs a “presidential permit” from the State Department, because the pipeline would run across the U.S. border from Canada.