Day three of demonstrations against the proposed construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline brought a crowd wearing ten-gallon hats and Native American headdresses to Secretary of State John Kerry’s doorstep today.
The “Cowboy and Indian Alliance” consists of a hodgepodge of ranchers, Native Americans, environmentalists and other groups that converged on the nation’s capital this week in a colorful display of defiance against the proposed pipeline that would bring oil from Canada’s tar sands to the Texas Gulf Coast.
Roughly 100 appeared for this third day of protest, forming outside Kerry’s home in the narrow streets of Washington’s posh Georgetown neighborhood. The demonstrators then moved several blocks to Georgetown’s commercial district, temporarily snarling traffic as tourists and well-to-do shoppers gaped.
Earlier this week, a ceremonial tepee was erected on the National Mall and some protesters made their case from horseback. The groups plan to remain in the nation’s capital through the weekend.
After months of bureaucratic delays, the Obama administration has still not reached a decision over whether to allow the pipeline to be built. Last week, the State Department postponed again, practically indefinitely, by extending the deadline for other government agencies to submit their views on the project. The department says it will also use the time to review more of the 2.5 million public comments submitted to the government over the proposal.
Political watchers suggest the White House is moving their decision past the November midterm elections, stringing along Democratic allies in the process.
This blog was updated at 3:50 PM.