Texas has rarely met an oil facility it didn’t like. Ever since Spindletop sent a gush of crude 150 feet into the air near here in 1901, Texans have been mostly willing to put up with the spills, smokestack belches and massive refinery vistas that go along with big, fat pots of “Texas tea.”

But that was before a Canadian company, TransCanada Corp., came forward with a plan to build a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry heavy, high-pollutant oil from the tar sands under the boreal forests of northern Alberta, across the American heartland, through scenic ranchlands in the piney woods of east Texas and on to refineries near Houston and Port Arthur.

For many in Texas who are holding meetings, passing out leaflets and hosting neighborhood talks with, of all people, the Sierra Club ? the Keystone XL pipeline is a barrel too far.

Warnings that the pipeline could worsen the state’s already potent refinery emissions and threaten water supplies have riled up people not normally inclined to cotton to environmentalists; TransCanada’s heavy-handed approach to obtaining easements through rural property, a mix of dickering and threats of eminent domain ? has populated the Sierra Club’s recent meetings with rural residents in denim shirts and silver belt buckles whose political inclinations lean more toward the “tea party” movement than eco-activism.