Bold Nebraska and the Cowboy Indian Alliance

Mark Hefflinger

Over the past year, grassroots nonprofit group Bold Nebraska and the Cowboy Indian Alliance have staged dozens of actions in opposition to TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tarsands pipeline, and in support of clean energy and candidates who will bring much-needed New Energy to our state.



  • Reject + Project: The Cowboy Indian Alliance staged a week-long tipi encampment on the National Mall in D.C. and series of protests targeting Sec. of State John Kerry and Pres. Obama
  • Thompson v. Heineman: Landowners file suit against Gov. Heineman over unconstitutional law passed to fast-track Keystone XL routing through Nebraska
  • Harvest the Hope: A #NO KXL benefit concert featuring headliners Neil Young and Willie Nelson was staged on a farm near Neligh, Nebraska that lies on land in the path of the pipeline that also crosses the historic Ponca “Trail of Tears”
  • Ponca Sacred Corn Harvest: The Cowboy Indian Alliance joined members of the Ponca Nation to hand-plant several acres of their sacred red corn on a farm in Nebraska that lies on the pipeline route and the Ponca Trail of Tears; the corn was harvested on the tribe’s ancestral homeland in Nebraska this fall for the first time in 137 years.
  • New Energy Voter: The 2014 New Energy Voter campaign included a Voter Guide circulated online, direct mail, and via phone banking and canvassing in Nebraska for candidates who supported more clean energy for the state. Victories included the defeat of Rep. Lee “Tarsands” Terry, the Republican incumbent and top cheerleader for Keystone XL in Congress.
  • Build Our Energy Barn: In late 2013, Bold Nebraska recruited volunteers and raised over $70,000 in online donations to build a wind- and solar-powered barn on land directly in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Pipeline Fighter Postcards to the President:  While constructing the Build Our Energy barn, volunteers pained #NO KXL billboards that were then placed with landowners along the proposed route of Keystone XL. The landowners were photographed with their billboards, with the resulting photographs turned into postcards that are being mailed to Pres. Obama, Sec. Kerry, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and other key KXL decision-makers.
  • Stopping the Pipeline Rocks: Bold Nebraska raised funds online to invite local Nebraska musicians to travel to the Build Our Energy barn and record a solar-powered NO KXL benefit album. The recording sessions were also filmed and released as a DVD+CD project.

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