Two reporters for the New York Times were handcuffed and detained by a TransCanada security guard and another policeman at a protest in northeast Texas, the newspaper has confirmed.
“They were released and told that they were risking arrest for trespassing if they stayed where they were, so they left the location,” Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told Fuelfix.com.
For weeks protestors near Winnsboro, Texas, have occupied tree forts in the path of contractors building TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline.
On Wednesday, the Times reporters were apparently on a piece of private property near the protest site when they were approached by a security guard employed by TransCanada and another policeman.
Shortly after their detainment, claimed a statement from protesters, "police barred another group of journalists from approaching even within sixty feet of the Keystone XL easement, an arbitrary designation with no legal precedent.”
TransCanada representatives have not yet commented to U.S. media.
President Barack Obama earlier this year approved construction of the southern portion of Keystone XL, from Cushing, Oklahoma, to refineries on the south coast of Texas.
The northern section, which runs from Alberta's oil sands through Nebraska and other midwest states, has become a major issue in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election.
Click here to read a Tyee report last year from Rosebud, South Dakota, where indigenous leaders from Canada and the U.S. held an emergency meeting about the pipeline.
Geoff Dembicki reports on energy and climate change for The Tyee.