The Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraska Wildlife Federation and Bold Nebraska today announced the delegation of Nebraskans traveling to Washington, DC to express their concerns about TransCanada’s proposed tar sands pipeline to members of Nebraska’s Congressional Delegation, the EPA and the State Department.

“I have heard many advocates and landowners stories and the words that best express their intentions to travel to Washington are respect and protect,” said Ken Winston, Nebraska Sierra Club spokesman. “They are asking for respect for their rights as Nebraska landowners, respect for their heritage as American citizens and respect for the requests of our United States Senators. We all believe that respect for their rights, heritage and leaders is needed to protect America’s most valuable natural resource, the vast and vulnerable Ogallala aquifer.”

Jane Kleeb, executive director of Bold Nebraska stated, “Each Nebraskan has a story to tell, rural and urban, young people and grandparents, landowners with personal experiences about how easy it is to reach the water table and about being threatened and bullied by a foreign company. Each of their stories is echoed by messages from many others who could not participate in the delegation. And each of the stories has a universal message about caring for the future, mothers speaking out for their children, young people asking for protection of the resources that they count on for America to remain a great nation.”

“Beyond the stories of concerned citizens is sound science of why so many Nebraskans are opposed to the TransCanada pipeline cutting through the Sandhills,” said Duane Hovorka with Nebraska Wildlife Federation.  “We are asking for a clear-eyed, scientific analysis of the threats to the Ogallala aquifer and analysis of the economic and strategic value of such a vast supply of water in the 21st century. We are home to the newly established Water for Food Institute. Give our experts a chance to make use of their expertise to meet the world’s demands. Don’t risk their most valuable resource with a tar sands pipeline.”

Scheduled Meetings in DC:
Senator Nelson
Senator Johanns
Staff of Reps. Terry, Fortenberry, Smith
State Department

Nebraska Delegation:

Susan Luebbe, lives in Stuart, NE.  She is a landowner and rancher whose land would be crossed by the pipeline. Her son is headed to Afghanistan and she recently asked state senators how it can be her son can protect our country but her state can not protect her from TransCanada land agents that are lying to her and neighbors.

Brian Bashore, Milford, NE is a Board member for Nebraska Wildlife Federation and active sportsmen among several sportsmen groups throughout the state of Nebraska.

Randy Thompson, landowner from Martell, NE, received a letter from TransCanada threatening eminent domain. He has not signed the easement letter. Randy is a cattle buyer and landowner.

Ben Gotschall is a young, fifth-generation Nebraska Sandhills rancher. His family owns an organic ranch/farm in Holt County, NE.

Cindy Meyers, a nurse from Stewart, NE lives in the heart of the Sandhills and has helped organize events with her neighbors.  Cindy lives 2 miles from the pipeline route.

Lynda Buoy, a rancher in Bassett, NE is very concerned about way of life being ruined by pipeline.  She is protective of friends getting threatened.  Lynda is also Farmers Union member and helped write the resolution they passed opposing pipeline.

Mitch Paine, lives in Lincoln, NE and is an advocate that has photographed the Sandhills and landowners.  He also works for Mayor Beutler’s green/sustainability project.

Graham Christensen is the Public Affairs Director for the Nebraska Farmers Union  He keeps in constant contact with landowners and farmers and helped lead the way for them to pass the resolution opposing pipeline.

Ken Winston with Sierra Club lives in Omaha, NE.  He is a long-time conservation advocate in Nebraska and is working to advance the proposed state bills that would regulate oil pipelines.

Cara Brenner of Lincoln, NE is the Director of the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters. She is a young advocate that has been part of the local NE coalition on the ground.

Malinda Frevert from Omaha, NE is the News Director for Bold Nebraska. She will be taking video of the delegates and their reactions in the meetings while in DC.

More Info on Pipeline:

UNL Dept. Ag Economics paper on the pipeline:

Bold Nebraska resource page:

NWF report on pipeline:

Sierra Club profile of individuals affected by pipeline:

Joint report on pipeline safety:


Ken Winston, 402-212-3737,
Jane Kleeb, 402-705-3622,

Interviews with Delegation:
Interviews with delegation can be arranged before they depart to DC (Mar. 8th, 7am, Omaha airport) or when they return (Mar. 10).  Phone interviews can also be arranged while they are in DC.