TransCanada broke ground on Keystone XL's southern leg last month, beginning work a stretch of pipeline that will connect the oil hub of Cushing, Okla., with the Texas Gulf Coast.
Environmentalists say the pipeline would expand the marketplace for oil sands crude that produces more greenhouse gas emissions from production to combustion than alternatives because of the energy-intensive techniques used to harvest it. Companies typically extract the tar-like hydrocarbon bitumen from Canada's oil sands by open-pit mining and in-situ techniques involving underground injections of steam that liquefy the otherwise hard fossil fuel.
The protests in Texas this morning are only the latest move by activists who have tethered themselves to bulldozers in recent weeks to halt work on the project.
According to Tar Sands Blockade, work was prevented at the Saltillo site this morning after about 20 contractors found three protesters locked to feller buncher machines used to clear trees.
One of the three, Houstonian Sarah Reid, said she was fighting on behalf of East Texas landowners "who have been taken advantage of by TransCanada."