Pipeline opponents and climate advocates participate in peaceful march through streets of Lincoln to send Public Service Commission the message that KXL is not in the public interest
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Lincoln, NE — Pipeline Fighters from Nebraska and across the region marched through the streets of Lincoln, Nebraska today — on the eve of a weeklong public hearing on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline before the Nebraska Public Service Commission, where Nebraska farmers and ranchers, The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Yankton Sioux Tribe, Bold Alliance and other environmental and citizen advocates will present evidence on why TransCanada’s tarsands export pipeline is unnecessary and not in the public interest.
Pipeline opponents have vastly outnumbered proponents who showed up to testify at public meetings on Keystone XL held by the Public Service Commission in Norfolk, York, O’Neill and Omaha. Landowners and citizens have voiced concerns about the state authorizing the use of eminent domain for a foreign corporation to take their land for a private gain pipeline that threatens the Ogallala aquifer and fragile Nebraska farmland.
In addition, a coalition of organizations including Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Sierra Club, Indigenous Environmental Network, CREDO, Greenpeace, Oil Change International and MoveOn have collected hundreds of thousands of written public comments from citizens from Nebraska and across the country with their concerns about Keystone XL’s threat to property rights, water and climate. The coalition will deliver these public comments to the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s offices in Lincoln at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 10th — on the eve of the PSC’s Keystone XL public comment submission deadline of Friday, August 11th.
The public comments delivery will take place just blocks from the Cornhusker Marriott hotel in downtown Lincoln — where landowners, Tribal leaders and environmental advocates were set to testify during the critical week of intervenor hearings on Keystone XL at the Public Service Commission.
Chairman Harold Frazier, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe:
“The Nebraska Public Service Commission has an immense responsibility. Not only does it have the responsibility to act in the best interest of Nebraska but also bear the trust responsibility the federal government chooses to ignore. Approving the permit for TransCanada would place send a message that Nebraska supports the damage that has already happened to our environment from the Tarsands oil. I have always said that the American government has failed us, but the American people have not. This is an opportunity to prove that.”
Manape LaMere, Government representative of the Sioux Nation of Indians & Headsmen of the Oceti Sakowin:
“We, as Nebraskans with the original landlords of this territory, must not allow American and foreign corporations to jeopardize the sanctity of our natural resources. It’s already happened over and over again to my ancestors. Now, as predicted from prophecies, we must all come together to stand up for our resources that we share. Not for our own sake, but for the sake of the generations to come. Our stance is very simple. This is water. The very foundation of life on this planet, as well as the key element in all our religious and spiritual ceremonies. We’ve been battling over these fundamentals for generations, and now American citizens are starting to feel that bane. We will all continue to pray that people awaken from their slumber. ”
Art Tanderup, landowner on Keystone XL route near Neligh:
“It is not in Nebraska’s interest to place a tarsands pipeline through Nebraska’s eastern Sandhills and over the Ogallala Aquifer, or to allow a foreign corporation to use eminent domain for corporate greed and abuse landowners with ‘all risk, no reward’ easements.”
Jane Kleeb, President, Bold Alliance:
“Keystone XL never has been and never will be in Nebraska’s public interest. This is a foreign pipeline, headed to the foreign export market, wanting to use eminent domain for private gain on Nebraska landowners. We are confident the PSC will follow the rules they set forth and reject the proposed route that still crosses the Sandhills and risks the Ogallala Aquifer.”
Reverend Kim Morrow, Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light:
“This pipeline is one more example of humanity’s relationship with the earth gone amok. We need to stop plundering its beauty for corporate profit. All creation is a gift from God, and from the beginning God asked us to protect it. It’s time for all of us to do our part to fulfill that promise.”
Sara Shor, Keep it in the Ground Campaign Manager, 350.org:
“We know that the Keystone XL pipeline is not in the public interest, and Nebraska’s Public Service Commission has a chance to stop this project for good. Communities in Nebraska and from surrounding states, including farmers, Indigenous peoples, and many more, are here to keep the pressure on and fight for a livable future. We’ve built solar panels in the path of Keystone XL to show what we need on a massive scale. Commissioners in Nebraska have a choice to make — either they protect the fossil fuel industry’s greed, or they stand up for the health and safety of our climate and our communities.”
John Crabtree, Campaign Representative, Sierra Club:
“The PSC is tasked with determining whether Keystone XL is in our state’s best interest, and the answer is simple: the only people who would benefit from this pipeline being built are oil executives in Canada, while Nebraskans would face the daily threat of a devastating tar sands spill. Keystone XL is all risk and no benefit for Nebraska, and the PSC should reject it.”
Joye Braun, Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network:
“Time and time again through the many years of the resistance to Keystone XL, Indigenous Peoples have said this project is not in the best interest of the people. The PSC of Nebraska has an extremely serious decision to make: a decision that will lead our communities towards clean energy, towards jobs, and towards a stronger relationship with Indigenous communities. Or they will make a decision that leads us towards more pollution, climate disaster, increased crime and human trafficking, and more disregard for Indigenous and human rights. We hope that they make the decision that puts our communities, our safety, and our futures first, not the oil companies.”
Lorne Stockman, Senior Research Analyst, Oil Change International:
“The United States and the world are rapidly moving away from oil to clean, climate-safe sources of energy. As the world’s dirtiest and most expensive source of oil, the Canadian tar sands has no future. Today, there is no company financially committed to tar sands growth or to the reckless Keystone XL pipeline. Nebraskans should not be forced to hand over land to a project with no future, relinquishing control over what happens to that land for generations to come. Keystone XL must be stopped now before any more damage is done.”
Christina-Alexa Liakos, Senior Climate and Energy Organizer:
“The people beat back Keystone XL once, and we are here again with as much resolve as before. Far from being in the people’s interest, this pipeline’s true purpose is to expand extraction out of Canada’s dirty tar sands, produce unnecessary oil for export when the world is increasingly saying no to fossil fuels, and to line the pockets of the oil and gas industry and TransCanada before the oil market goes belly up. We are in the streets today to support a finding that truly serves Nebraskans and all people living in this land: No Keystone XL, ever.”
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Jane Kleeb, Bold Alliance, 402-705-3622, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Hefflinger, Bold Alliance, 323-972-5192, email@example.com
Gabby Brown, Sierra Club, 914-261-4626, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Meiman, 350.org, email@example.com
Jade Begay, Indigenous Environmental Network, firstname.lastname@example.org