September 01, 2011
If constructed, the Keystone XL pipeline would transport oil 1,980 miles from Hardisty, Alberta to Arthur, Texas. The U.S. State Department supports the project; environmentalists oppose it, citing previous spills in an existing pipeline from Alberta to Illinois.
Sean Avery(notes) of the New York Rangers is part of that opposition, tweeting links to blogs and videos that contest the pipeline and using his website to urge action against its approval by the Obama administration:
The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would carry toxic, sludgy tar-sands oil 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada to Texas. If approved, it would carry as much as 900,000 barrels of oil each day across more than 70 rivers and streams and other sensitive wildlife habitat. The Canadian energy company seeking permission to build the pipeline claims it will produce no more than a single leak in 7 years but the existing Keystone pipeline has already leaked a dozen times in just one year of operation. A single spill could be catastrophic to species in the Keystone XL Pipeline's path.
Protests have been ongoing at the White House, including a sit-in on Tuesday that saw actress Daryl Hannah arrested. Through Thursday, 843 people had been arrested through Thursday during the two-week protest, including Lois Lane herself, Margot Kidder.
On Thursday, a source told Puck Daddy that Avery was coming to Washington D.C. on Friday to "get arrested protesting the oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S."
Jamie Henn, spokesman for sit-in organizer Tar Sands Action, told us on Thursday afternoon that Avery had planned on getting arrested at the White House on Friday — but that, alas, he had just gotten word from Avery's camp that the Rangers star would not be able to attend the rally.
"It looks like he's not going to get arrested and add something to his record," said Henn. (Please recall Avery's mix-up with the LAPD this summer.)
Henn said there are plans for Avery to be involved in the movement against construction of the pipeline in the coming weeks, beyond his current support of the cause.
"Sean Avery will be out there defending the little guy as only Sean Avery can do," he said.
It's been a politically active few months for Avery, who famously backed the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York while drawing the ire of a player agent. This is a good thing: Players like Avery have a voice and a means to affect change. Whether it's a pipeline crossing a wetland or the NHLPA's post-career player assistance policies, the more outspoken NHL players are, the more meaningful conversation can occur.
Maybe Avery can reschedule his civil disobedience. It certainly would have been an attention-getter.