Locals protest the Keystone XL pipeline

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- People protested the Keystone XL Pipeline in St. Augustine Monday night.

Organizer Hunter Miller said it was one of more than 200 protests planned around the country for Monday.

He and a group of about 30 voiced their opposition to the 1,700 mile project that will carry crude oil from western Canada to Texas refineries.

Protesters chanted "Obama stop the Pipeline."

People who oppose it say the emissions from the pipeline will impact climate change and there are also concerns about any breaks on the line ... and how it could impact the environment.

Neil Armingeon is the Riverkeeper for the Matanzas River, which runs through St. Johns and Flagler counties, making up some of the Intracoastal Waterway.

He said the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline's emissions could impact climate change – which could hurt rivers all over.

"The volume is 800,000 barrels. It will be the equivalent of 9 million cars on the road," Armingeon noted.

He's worried those emission will negatively impact sea level rise, hurting the wildlife.

However, St. Johns County Commissioner Ron Sanchez supports the pipeline for a couple of reasons.

"For the jobs -- which Lord knows we need in our country! There's also the decrease in dependence on foreign countries for oil," Sanchez said.

Friday, the U.S. State Department issued an environmental impact report. The report says there is little evidence the pipeline would worsen climate change.

Armingeon said, "We disagree with that, and I think there's plenty of science the State Department misstated."

Sanchez said, "I haven't seen any of the studies form the environmental side saying how bad it would be. All I hear is -- how bad it would be." He wants proof, he said.

Sanchez lives on the St. Johns River and Armingeon cares for the Matanzas River.

They're two men in St. Johns County who like the natural environment, but they disagree when it comes to the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Armingeon said, "For me personally, this is much about how we think energy and take energy."

Sanchez said, "It seems like positives outweigh the negatives."

Their feelings echo the sentiments of many across the nation, no matter how close they live to nature.


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