Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb was asked by The New York Times to contribute a short opinion piece on Keystone XL for their Opinion Pages feature “Room for Debate,” alongside other Pipeline Fighters such as 350.org’s Bill McKibben and Erich Pica of Friends of the Earth.
Here is Jane’s piece, entitled “Our Land, Our Water, Our Country“:
Every morning Meghan wakes up to feed her cattle. And every morning she looks to the horizon and sees the barn equipped with clean, American-made energy that folks from all over the country built on her grandfather’s land directly in the path of the Keystone export pipeline.
We are fighting TransCanada for one simple reason, we protect our neighbors.
The pipeline potentially risks our Sandhills, nearly 2,400 family wells, our prized Platte and Niobrara rivers and our state’s economic lifeblood — the Ogallala aquifer. The U.S. State Department’s report does not say that this massive pipeline will not risk our water or contribute to carbon pollution. It’s a neutral report and one more step in a long journey for families and national groups all bound with a common message to President Obama: The Keystone export pipeline is not in our national interest.
All we have to do is look to our neighbors still cleaning up the tar sands spill in the Kalamazoo River to know we are in the right fight.
Pundits and lobbyists can pontificate on why fighting this pipeline, at this moment, does not make political sense. For us, it was never a question. There was never a pause. We witness how TransCanada treats our neighbors. TransCanada threatens eminent domain. TransCanada bullies farmers and ranchers with one-sided contracts that shift the economic liabilities of tar sands spills on to families’ shoulders. To see that we are in the right fight, all we have to do is look to our neighbors still cleaning up the tar sands spill in the Kalamazoo River or the oil in the backyards and basements of Mayflower, Ark.
We believe President Obama will join us, not big oil lobbyists, in saying “no” to foreign tar sands and “yes” to stable new energy. Future generations will stand tall and say “We did that.” We stood up and were counted. We said in unison, not in our land, not in our water, not in our country. A foreign corporation that wants to use our land and risk our water to get tar sands on the export market simply will not pass.
In this video, Meghan explains why she is fighting the pipeline and why her family built a wind and solar-powered barn on their land directly in the path of Keystone XL: