Hollywood actress Daryl Hannah says Alberta's oilsands are an "atrocious environmental travesty" and she wants no part of a proposed pipeline that would move oil from Canada down to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

On Tuesday, Hannah, 50, was arrested in front of the White House along with other protesters for refusing to abandon a sit-in against the planned Keystone XL pipeline.

Hannah sat down on the sidewalk near the White House and refused orders from U.S. Park Police to move. She was taken into custody and later paid an US$100 fine and was released.

Hannah says the protest involved dozens of people like her who are committed to stopping the pipeline.

"There have been hundreds of people arrested over the last week and a half and more to come in the next few days," she told CTV's Canada AM from Washington.

Hannah says she hopes her group's actions will raise awareness of the proposed pipeline and compel U.S. President Barack Obama to refuse to approve its construction.

"I want to add my body and my voice to the thousands of others who are laying themselves on the line and saying,'No, we do not want to be party to this incredibly destructive path. We're becoming more dependent on fossil fuels and now we're becoming dependent on the most dirty of the fossil fuels, which is the tarsands fuel'," Hannah said.

TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline would run from Alberta through Nebraska to refineries in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas. It would double the capacity of the existing Keystone pipeline.

Proponents say the expansion would create thousands of jobs in both Canada and the U.S. and would help reduce U.S. reliance on Middle Eastern oil. Environmental activists say the pipeline is too risky and that extracting oil from the oilsands creates far too much greenhouse gas emissions.

Last week, the U.S. State Department released a report that said the proposed pipeline would pose no major risks to the environment and would not necessarily spur further oilsands production in Alberta.

The department's report added that there's no evidence the pipeline will significantly impact the six U.S. states in its path as it carries crude from northern Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries in Texas.

Hannah says she doesn't buy any of that.

"The Keystone I, which was put in only last year, has already had 12 different spills. And obviously the tarsands has already had a significant impact on the environment," she said.

"As far as I know, the State Department impact report has been basically dismissed by anyone who has a brain."

Hannah says the building costs of the 3,060-kilometre-long pipeline would force refiners to use oilsands oil for years to come and lock the U.S. into a high-carbon source of oil instead of researching alternatives.

"What we're saying is that if we put in millions and millions of dollars toward this infrastructure, we are going to be tied to that atrocious environmental travesty that is the tarsands," she said.

Hannah and her group want to see investment in clean energy instead of oil.

"We want clean, safe regenerative energy – solar, wind, geothermal, microhydro. We have so much ability to create our own power here in the States and that's what we want our money to go to," she said.

Hannah, who has appears in such films as "Splash," "Wall Street," and "Kill Bill" has long campaigned for environmental causes. She was arrested in 2006 for protesting efforts to bulldoze the country's largest urban farm in Los Angeles and in 2009 for protesting mountaintop removal in West Virginia.

With reports from the Associated Press and The Canadian Press