One way TransCanada “sells” their pipeline to elected officials is they go to county boards and state legislatures and brag about the money they will pay in taxes. It’s one of the oldest corporate tricks in the playbook, distract from the real problems and risks of a project with promises of tax money, pet projects, special side deals, and of course jobs (reality is the pipeline would create enough work to slash America’s jobless rate by less than 0.0005% and this is the “jobs plan” folks like Deb Fischer and Gov. Heineman fully support).
The Omaha World Herald covers TransCanada’s latest lie in Sunday’s paper, “Windfall From First Keystone Pipeline Falls Short,” by Paul Hammel.
Earlier this year, Ben wrote an open letter to TransCanada asking them to explain why they were paying about 1/2 the amount they said they would to counties along the first pipeline route. TransCanada never wrote Ben back with an answer.
There is something fishy happening with our tax system and this “oil” pipeline. In other states, TransCanada is paying double and sometimes triple what they are paying here in Nebraska. This is a question we raised to state senators over the past two years, but no action has taken place.
This is not the first or last time TransCanada will mislead Nebraskans and elected officials in order to get what they want–building their export pipeline, filled with toxic diluted bitumen and chemicals, so their shareholders can make tons of money selling their risky product overseas.
How do we fight back in an era when politicians care more about their corporate sponsors than our families, the environment, our water and our property rights?
1) Show what is at-risk. Take a picture of a water crossing by July 20th and send to firstname.lastname@example.org for a press event we will hold on July 25th to honor the 2 year anniversary of the toxic tarsands spill in the Kalamazoo river.
2) Be a new energy voter. This November use your power for change in the voting booth. TransCanada might be able to buy our elected officials, but we are not for sale. Only check the box in the voting booth for politicians who give a damn. Groups across our state are working on a “New Energy Voter Guide” we will post more info about in August.
3) March with us. On September 7th we will hold an event in Lincoln where we will march from downtown to Gov. Heineman’s mansion to remind him that he used to care about the risks to the Ogallala Aquifer. While Gov. Heineman has surrendered to TransCanada, Nebraska landowners and citizens are still fighting. Please hold this date on your calendars, we need a strong showing to make a strong statement.