Remember the last time you saw Margot Kidder in the news? Me neither. But this week she did manage to grab a brief moment of renewed “fame” when she managed to get herself arrested in Washington at a sparsely attended protest against the Keystone XL pipeline project.

Canadian actors Margot Kidder and Tantoo Cardinal have been arrested while protesting in Washington to stop construction of an oil pipeline from Alberta’s oilsands to Texas.

Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the first four Superman movies, and her friend Cardinal, who starred in North of 60 and the film Dances with Wolves, were taken into custody near the White House.

They were among dozens arrested Tuesday morning on the fourth day of daily demonstrations against TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline project.

There was a time when unsuccessful actors would complain that they, “couldn’t even get arrested in this town.” It was a take-off on the old adage which proclaimed that any headline was a good headline, providing they spelled your name correctly. Kidder may be the best example of putting the lie to that rule, since the last time I recall seeing her name in print was when she was found cowering naked in some bushes after chopping her own hair off with a razor. (This is not to make light of the woman’s problems. She’s clearly had a lot of challenges to deal with in life.)

So what were they all doing at the White House in the first place? As the article notes, they are protesting the construction of the Keystone pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands fields down to Texas. The reason for the pipeline’s construction is obvious, and was noted in the article as part of comments by her partner in crime. (emphasis mine.)

“It’s progressively broken my heart over time to see destruction that has gone on,” she said. “Fort McMurray, the tarsands … it’s a place that we can see really how sick the Earth is and how sick we are as a people. I am here to be part of a voice to say, ‘Wake up.'” The $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline has approval from Canada but needs a final nod from the United States before it can go ahead. It would nearly double the amount of crude the U.S. imports from Alberta’s oilsands, and travel through environmentally sensitive areas of the American heartland to Gulf Coast refineries.

Well we certainly wouldn’t want to double the amount of energy we can purchase from Canada as opposed to suppliers in the Middle East or Venezuela, now would we?

The protesters are continuing with a long discredited meme, calling the oil sands petroleum products a “carbon bomb.” Unfortunately for them, the science argues otherwise. Under the worst possible conditions, oil sands production can result in a whopping 6% more emissions than retrieving light, sweet crude. But this is because the oil sands are harder to get to, so there is a corresponding increase in vehicle usage in the process. There’s nothing magical about bitumen which makes the extraction of it more carbon intensive.

Further, as has been repeatedly shown, on a “wells to wheel” basis, total emissions from the production process of any type of fossil fuel are miniscule compared to what eventually comes out at the tailpipe end of the chain. 75% of all emissions take place at consumption, not creation.

Further, Kidder and her allies seem to remain under the misguided impression that if we don’t pump these resources down to the lower 48 for processing it’s just going to stay in the ground. As we discussed earlier this month, (and even the Washington Post editorial board agreed) Canada has a ready and waiting customer for all the energy they can produce in China.

Not only will the product head to Asia, but the associated economic opportunity. Perhaps Margot Kidder and her friends don’t need jobs. (As evidenced by the fact that they seem to have a month free to hang out on the sidewalks of DC.) But plenty of people in the energy industry around the Gulf Coast do. Let’s hope that, for once, the Obama administration can turn a deaf ear to the demands of misguided activists who are seeking to hinder job creation, not increase it.

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