TransCanada sues to stop pipeline protesters

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ATOKA, Okla. (AP) - TransCanada has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction and restraining order that keeps protesters from disrupting its pipeline construction sites in Oklahoma.

The company filed the lawsuit last week against Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance to keep protesters from interfering with construction. Several protesters have already been arrested after chaining themselves to construction equipment.

The company is building a 485-mile oil pipeline between Cushing and the Gulf Coast.

The Oklahoman reports ( ) a judge barred three people from interfering with construction but did not rule on others named in the lawsuit. The environmental group says the lawsuit would criminalize dissent to what it calls a "dangerous" project.

TransCanada project spokesman Jim Prescott says the restraining order would protect the company's ability to build the pipeline and keep workers safe.

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