Thank you to every citizen and landowner that continues to stand up for our land and water. Yesterday’s Citizen Hearing was another great event where Nebraskans from all over the state came together and told our state elected officials and Sec. Clinton that they each have a key role in protecting our land and water from TransCanada’s risky tarsands pipeline.
What’s most troubling about all the covergae from yesterday’s event is Sen. Langemeier’s continued dismissal of citizens. He told Fred Knapp’s NET radio that the Natural Resources Comittee has been working for “quite some time” and that “the rally has no relevance” in getting one of the bills (that was watered down to almost “no relevance”) out of committee for a debate by the full legislature.
Two things on Langemeier’s blatant diss on citizens and his weak leadership:
1) “Working on this for quite some time”?! In December 2010, there was an initial hearing on the dangers of this pipeline, and it was a packed room. The fact that Nebraska has NO LAWS on the books to protect landowners, water, counties, etc. from the risky TransCanada pipeline was reinforced and backed up with facts.
Many more events happened at the state capitol in the months following. It’s now mid-May and the Committee that Langemeier chairs has done nothing significant to respond to citizens’, landowners’ and experts’ concerns. They have met with TransCanada and, from what we hear, have included all of their concerns in the only bill that was voted out of their committee. TransCanada was successful in silencing citizens and experts by making sure no serious regulations were passed in our state.
2) I am continually amazed at how some of our elected officials have no respect for citizen involvement in our democracy. Over 150 tax-paying citizens showed up yesterday, in a building paid for with their tax dollars, and asked their elected leaders, who are paid by tax dollars, to stand up for their constituents. To say these people have “no relevance” is a slap in the face. Either Langemeier needs a lesson in civics and respect, or he needs to find a new job.
There is at least one thing that is crystal clear out of this process: Sen. Langemeier is a weak leader that is out of touch and not serious about protecting our land and water.
Here’s the good news: Langemeier’s weak leadership gives strength to citizens. If he and our other elected leaders continue to side with a foreign company over citizens, the public will continue to stand up on the right side of this issue.
In fact, it was just announced that landowners are now considering taking TransCanada, and possibly our state, to court over the complete disregard to the safety and concerns of citizens.
Stay tuned to Bold’s site for more info and continued updates on the pipeline issue.
1) Call or email Sen. Langemeier and tell him that he should apologize to the citizens of Nebraska and acknowledge their part in passing at least one pipeline bill out of the Natural Resources Committee.
2) Call or email Sen. Sullivan who introduced and prioritized LB 629. She worked incredibly hard to get some sort of legislation to the full floor for a debate.