A proud group of Nebraskans joined over 3,000 fellow “pipeline fighters” urging President Obama to deny TransCanada’s permit request for the Keystone XL pipeline.  

The event, called “Tar Sands Action: Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline,” was scheduled for August 20th-September 3rd in our nation’s capitol.

Like Governor Heineman, citizens will urge President Obama to deny the Keystone XL permit.

If built, the TransCanada pipeline would be the equivalent of putting over 5 million cars on the road. Additionally, as UNL scientist Dr. Stansbury reported, the pipeline risks our water supply and our main economic activity.

Note to press: on Saturday, 9/3 pipeline fighters will be at 72nd and Dodge in Omaha at 2pm. They are holding a local event to show support for those of us in DC.

Pictures from DC (press and public can use) 

*New pictures from the Saturday sit-in will be posted by 2pmCT on 9/3*

Message From Randy:

Randy Thompson, a landowner in Nebraska, sent this message to Nebraskans headed to DC:

I want to thank all of my fellow Nebraskans who are in DC protesting the pipeline, and I want all of you to know that I respect and admire the courage and personal commitment you have shown by being there.

It is time that the American people send a message to the big  oil companies and their political allies, and that message is this:

We are fed up with having our livelihoods and natural resources put at risk just for the sake of corporate profit, and we are also fed up with a politicians who fail to hear to our voices , but instead cater to those who can fatten their campaign coffers.   

There are many unanswered questions about this project but one thing is becoming  abundantly clear, Americans do not support or want this pipeline.

Please make sure they get the message.

Godspeed, Randy

Why are Nebraskans headed to DC?

 Ben Gotschall and I both wrote blog posts as part of a DailyKos blog-a-thon explaining why we are headed to DC.

Quotes from Nebraskans in DC, Sept. 3:

 Deddeh Ballah, staff with Refugee Action Network: “I’m excited to go to DC because its for a good cause and I believe in standing up for what I believe. Plus I know many Africans who feel the way I do about this issue and it would be great to represent them and the Refugee Action Network of Nebraska.”

Tom Genung, rancher: “My wife and I own artesian-fed meadows and pastures close to the proposed pipeline route where it would actually desecrate my Mother-in-laws’ Sandhills pastures. I look at this protest as a calling and honor to stand with like-minded individuals to stop the pipeline’s construction. What an unexpected  privilege to be part of a group protesting against one of the most wrongful, destructive projects ever.”

Allen Schreiber, citizen: “I really want to let Washington know that this is NOT a partisan political issue, that this issue of the Alberta Tarsands and the Keystone XL threatens the health and livelihood of everyone in Nebraska, the United States, North America and the World! We cannot continue to defecate in the pot we eat out of and survive as a species, and that peaceful, non-violent dissent can still affect positive change in this world!”

Chelsea Johnson, student: “I am excited to go to D.C. and add my voice to thousands of others to show our leaders that this is an issue people really care about and that they have the responsibility to listen to us.”

Angel Romero Kiester, organizer with Sierra Club: “I love our wonderful State and all it offers us who have made Nebraska home. It’s land, water, and creatures of all forms within our State, are dependant on us to defend, protect, and preserve it all. Having the opportunity to do so is my honor.”

Mohamed Jalloh, farmer and small business owner: “I believe the time to just sit on the fence is over. This is time for real action on matters as important as the TransCanada gas pipeline project. I have seen footage’s on television and the internet about gas leaks on the gulf oil gush (US) and the Ogoni Land oil disaster. I don’t want to see these terrible ordeals that happened in the Gulf Coast (US) and the Niger- Delta (Nigeria) to happen in Nebraska. I want to be the mouthpiece of thousands of Africans who call Nebraska their new how in DC.”

Malinda Frevert, News Director with Bold Nebraska: “After 14 months of organizing folks in Nebraska against the Keystone XL, I’m excited to see folks across the nation amp up the pressure on the Obama administration. Nebraskans have been amazing on this issue, and I can’t wait to see who else stands with Randy!”

Quotes from Nebraskans in DC, Aug. 22:

 Jane Kleeb, Director of Bold Nebraska: “Nebraskans are counting on President Obama to do the right thing. Back home we are fighting to protect our land and water. We decided to bring that fight to the President’s doorstep because our families’ legacies, those that homesteaded the very land now threatened by a foreign oil company, are too important for us sit on the sidelines. We are acting on our values and expect our President to act as well.”

Mark Wolberg, musician: “I’m excited to go to D.C. and do whatever it takes to raise as much awareness about the irreversible problems that would arise from putting a tar sands oil pipeline in an aquifer. This issue is very important to me because I want to preserve the clean living conditions that Nebraska offers and I am intrigued by the motivations that bring midwesterners to each side of this argument.”

Lori Fischer, small business owner and director of NEAC: “If the government is going to refuse to step up to the responsibility to defend a livable future, I believe that creates a moral imperative for me and many others. This is a crucial issue for Nebraskans to speak up loudly and let our government know that the high risk of Keystones dirty tar sands oil transported in fragile pipeline through our priceless Sand Hills overlying the Ogallala Aquifer is not worth the risk. Our land, water, and the future of our children are at stake. I feel our leaders need to take seriously their responsibility to pass on a healthy and just world to the next generation, I am going to Washing to remind them.”

Tyson Johnson, student: “Growing up in a small town, I’m excited that my first trip to DC will be a purposeful one where I am able to work for a cause I feel so strongly about. I’m sure the history and grandeur of the city center will inspire me further to stay active.”

Nancy Packard, grandmom: “I am a proud Nebraskan. I can do my part to help my state and my country thrive.”

Marty Steinhausen, sixth generation Nebraskan, farmer and small business owner: “I’m excited to go to D.C. because I enjoy the company of people who are intelligent, informed, engaged and motivated.  Plus, we are gonna rock the house!”

Jane Wilson, member of grassroots Guardians of the Good Life: “The tar sands is an issue I feel strongly about, not only because it will hurt my state of Nebraska, but because of what it will do to the planet as a whole if we allow its continued development. I’d like to be there to stand for all the people of Nebraska, to protect our precious resources (land and groundwater) that are SO much more valuable than oil.”