Elected Officials Side with Foreign Company Instead of Nebraskans

Jane Kleeb
State Senator Kate Sullivan is one of three brave elected officials who introduced common sense legislation that would provide safety regulations around oil pipelines.  Currently, Nebraska has NO state agency to regulate oil pipelines; no safety regulations in place; nothing to say where a pipeline can and cannot be placed; nothing to protect landowners from TransCanada’s bullying threats of eminent domain and nothing to protect our family ranchers, farmers and state from a huge economic loss when an oil spill happens.

This morning during our normal online scan of the news, we came across this quote from the Chair of the Unicameral’s Natural Resources Committee, which is responsible for passing such basic regulations, as to why they did not pass a liability bill (they actually have decided not to pass any of the oil pipeline bills):

“If Bold Nebraska (one of the organization opponents of Keystone XL) decided to take a backhoe out and put a hole in it [the pipeline], it’s TransCanada’s responsibility,” Langemeier said.

We are shocked. We are angry. We cannot believe an elected official would say a non-profit group, ours, would commit violence and then use us as the excuse for his inaction!  He is using us as an excuse for not doing his job of protecting our state’s land and water.  

Langemeier and others who have sided with TransCanada can pretend this is a purely a “federal” issue but that is simply not true.  States have a very clear role and responsibility in protecting our land and water.

The pipeline has dominated news in our state for the past year.  There have been huge turnouts of Nebraskans in support of regulations at rallies and hearings on the bills.  There’s been bi-partisan support from our federal members of Congress.  Almost HALF of the Unicameral sent a letter to Sec. Clinton asking for stronger safety considerations.  Polls have been taken.  Over 70% of Nebraskans think we need safety regulations in place.  

While Bold Nebraska does not think the pipeline should be built and that instead Nebraska should invest in American-made energy, all we are asking the Unicameral and the Natural Resources Committee to do is pass BASIC safety regulations for landowners and our state.  No one is asking them to stop the pipeline.

Instead of acting on behalf of our state, our elected officials are siding with a foreign company who has bullied and lied to Nebraskans.  They’ve ignored the majority of our state who simply want assurance that when an oil pipeline goes into our ground and cuts through our main source of clean drinking water that there are some basic safety measures in place to protect our families. Instead, Langemeier and other politicians are using outrageous hypotheticals to excuse their inaction.

Make no mistake, we will continue to work with landowners and citizens across our state on this issue.  We will not back down as TransCanada and politicians try to paint us as some extreme group that would commit violence.

We know Nebraskans are on our side.  We know we are doing the right thing to protect our land, water and economic activity.  If we have to take this to the ballot box, we will.  And we will stand with pride every step of the way because we are fighting with Teri, Randy, Cindy, Lynda, Susan and so many more.  We are on the side of Nebraskans.

Action: We are planning an action that we will post soon, so please check back in a few hours. Donations are always welcome to help keep up the fight.

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