Tag Archives: dave heineman

Ranchers, Native Activists Protest Keystone XL Pipeline in Nebraska

30 Jan

By Kevin Abourezk / Sioux City Journal

Native drummers perform at the start of a demonstration Monday by Keystone XL pipeline opponents. The pipeline would transport tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Native drummers perform at the start of a demonstration Monday by Keystone XL pipeline opponents. The pipeline would transport tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

LINCOLN — Cowboys hats and shawls adorned a coalition of more than 100 ranchers and Native activists who gathered Monday at the state Capitol to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and show support for indigenous rights.

As six children held up a large banner that read “Idle No More” and singers pounded drums, about half a dozen people spoke against the Keystone XL and perceived attacks on Native sovereignty.

“Look at the children standing before us,” said Myron Long Soldier, chairman of the Lincoln Indian Center. “Those are the ones we need to fight for.”

He criticized Gov. Dave Heineman for approving the pipeline’s route through Nebraska after initially opposing it. The economic benefits to be gained from the pipeline through jobs and development will be only temporary while the environmental effects will last for generations, Long Soldier said.

Idle No More, a grassroots Native social justice movement, hosted the rally with support from pipeline foe Bold Nebraska. The event included Native ceremonial songs, drumming, Lakota and Christian prayers, and a round dance. Children and others held signs that read “You Don’t Own the Earth!” and “Down With White Clay!”

Idle No More began as a response to proposed legislation in Canada that would reduce drastically the number of legally protected waterways and lower the threshold of consent needed to allow Native communities to surrender their lands. It has grown to include rallies and flash mobs by Native people across the country and in Canada. Continue reading

Keystone XL: A Year in Review

25 Jan

by Sarah Laskow / the American Prospect

TarSandsBlocade.org

TarSandsBlocade.org

It’s been just over a year since the Obama administration rejected TransCanada’s original permit application for Keystone XL. On the surface, it might seem like nothing much has happened. The State Department has yet to release its assessment of the environmental impacts of the new, revised pipeline route, which TransCanada proposed on May 4, 2012, only four months after the initial permit rejection. None of the many attempt by Republicans in Congress to force through approval of the pipeline succeeded, and with the slow fade of Mitt Romney, one of the project’s self-proclaimed biggest fans, the project’s best chance to pass unimpeded through U.S. bureaucracy was lost. But in this period neither TransCanada nor Keystone XL opponents have been at rest. Construction on the southern end of the pipeline began in August, and protesters, hoping to budge an administration that has turned stalling on environmental action into a specialty, have amped up both their numbers and the force of their argument—that building Keystone XL will expedite climate change.

Now, the project is heading straight back into the headlights of national attention. This spring, the State Department will likely release its report, which environmental advocates believe will not begin to address their concerns either about risks to local water and wildlife or about massive carbon emissions from burning billions of barrels of tar sands oil . Continue reading

Nebraska Governor Approves Keystone XL Route

23 Jan

Bloomberg Newsap-oil-pipeline-protest-4_3_r536_c534

HOUSTON — Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved TransCanada Corp.’s revised route for the Keystone XL pipeline, clearing the way for a final decision from U.S. regulators on the project that would bring Canadian oil to the Texas coast.

The new route avoids Nebraska’s Sand Hills, an environmentally sensitive region overlaying the Ogallala aquifer, the state’s main source of groundwater. The pipeline will still cross the aquifer, though in a less sensitive area, according to a letter Heineman, a Republican, sent Tuesday to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informing them of his decision. Continue reading