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Dozens, Including Sierra Club Director, Arrested At White House Keystone Protest

Dozens of environmentalists were arrested, today, after they strapped themselves to the gate surrounding the White House.

NPR's Elizabeth Shogren filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The protesters want President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. It would carry a dirtier kind of oil from Canada to refineries in the United States.

"Sierra Club's Executive Director Michael Brune says it's so important that his group decided for the first time in its 120 year history to participate in civil disobedience.

"'What we need right now is the president to really seize this moment on Climate change,' he said.

"Bill McKibben of 350.org was there too.

"'It's the rarest of opportunities to actually stop something before it happens and leave a huge pool of carbon in the ground,' McKibben said.

"They were arrested along with actress Daryl Hannah, Robert Kennedy Jr. and more than 40 other people."

As we've told you, since Nebraska approved a new route for the pipeline, it is now up to the U.S. State Department to green light or put a stop to the project.

The decision could be one of the Obama administration's most controversial on the environment. And feelings are fervent on both sides of the issues: Republicans have accused the president of delaying a project that would create jobs and further America's energy independence, while environmentalists have said that pipeline is in direct opposition to getting climate change under control.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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