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Nebraskans rally against Keystone XL in D.C.

By   /   February 12, 2013  /   16 Comments

Randy Thompson, a Nebraska cattle buyer, is one of several Nebraskans who were arrested outside the White House Wednesday during a protest of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Photo courtesy of Mary Anne Andre/Bold Nebraska

By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

Updated 7:22 p.m. Wednesday
LINCOLN – Busloads of Nebraskans – 125 of them in total – headed to Washington, D.C., Tuesday for a rally against the Keystone XL oil pipeline proposed to cross the nation. And four of those Nebraskans planed to get arrested by protesting in front of the White House on Wednesday.

By the day of the day, several Nebraskans succeeded in getting arrested, including Randy Thompson, the Republican cattle buyer-turned-activist, and actress Darryl Hannah and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

A Nebraska contingent planned to take their case to the U.S. State Department while in Washington, where they will ask for a new review of the pipeline route through Nebraska – including its crossing of the Ponca Trail of Tears in five places. The proposed pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas oil refineries — but its construction has been held up for several years. Nebraska has been a hotbed of opposition, even as pro-business and labor groups have pushed for approval of the pipeline to create jobs and make America more energy independent.

Thompson said Tuesday he’s tired of some portraying Keystone XL opponents as foaming-at-the-mouth fanatics.

“It’s not that type of people,” he said during a press conference. “We’re just ordinary citizens coming from all walks of life.”

He said the opposition includes Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives – all of them just “concerned citizens.” Thompson considers the pipeline an assault on Americans’ individual property rights.

“There is something inherently wrong about the idea of American landowners being forced to subsidize the private enterprise of a foreign corporation with land that their families have earned through generations of hard work and determination,” Thompson said. He also believes the pipeline threatens America’s most valuable natural resources — particularly rivers, streams and underground aquifers.

“These are priceless American assets that no amount of oil money, foreign or otherwise, could ever replace,” he said.

Bold Nebraska, a grassroots group that organized opposition to the pipeline in Nebraska, is party to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law dictating Nebraska’s review of the revised pipeline route. If the State Department approves the federal permit for the project, Bold Nebraska head Jane Kleeb said her group will consider seeking an injunction.

Contact Deena Winter at [email protected].

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here.


Deena formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • cliveklg

    A statement from a key Canadian expert on energy shows our politicians and TransCanada have been lying to us about the reasons for the pipeline.

    “And with the International Energy Agency forecasting the U.S. achieving energy self-sufficiency by 2020, Keystone isn’t really about reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Not in the longer term. It’s about a route to Asia for Canadian oil, and diversifying our markets.”


    It has nothing to do with energy security or lowering fuel prices. It is about them getting it to the tax free port to ship over seas.

  • This comment is very odd. Transporting the crude to the Gulf, and either refining it or exporting it as crude, adds value. We import it at a low price and sell it at a higher price. This pays for our other imports; corporate taxes on the profits pay for the government, and workers are employed. All of these are good things.

    As it happens, we are already doing this, more expensively and less efficiently, using rail cars.

  • I am wondering about your statement..’we’ import it at a low price? Who is we? We….I don’t know that ‘we’ will own anything here. Am I wrong? I think that we are only allowing someone else who owns this sand oil..to pay us to refine it once it arrives at a port so that ‘they’ can sell it….to ‘whoever’.

  • Using rail cars employees many more people than a pipeline will.

  • cliveklg

    Nothing odd about it, same message the Prime Minister and others in support of it have said in the past also. So it isn’t anything new or unusual there in Canada.

    But it is in complete contrast to what TransCanada and our politicians supporting it say here.

  • cliveklg

    Also who imports at a low price?

    we not need the pipeline with our current domestic growth, the real reason for the pipeline isn’t about getting it to the US consumer at all.

    The refineries in TX this pipeline are going to are owned by Middle Eastern nations including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Or partnered with them. Yes they own refineries in TX.




    They are the ones doing the importing and selling.

    The whole national security claim is so uninformed on multiple levels. Not only the fact we are on track to be completely energy independent, but on the refinery ownership, and where the oil is really intended to go.

    And that is just refineries here in the US. It doesn’t consider how much Mid-East investment is on the mining end of the Tar Sands in Canada. Which they are heavily invested it.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    Deena: Your only inaccuracy is that only a small group of about a dozen flew out Tuesday afternoon to D.C. for arrests and to meet with State Department officials this week. Another 56 of us Nebraskans (myself included) will depart by chartered bus Friday to arrive Saturday afternoon in D.C. for the Sunday rally. The rest of the 126 Nebraskans going are getting there by their own means – driving or flying – to join the over 40,000 people that have already RSVP’ed that they will be at the Forward On Climate Rally on the National Mall Sunday, February 17th. Based on the RSVP numbers compared to those that actually came from the two previous actions in D.C., the arrest actions in Aug-Sep ’11 and the 11/6/11 anti-KXL rally, event organizers expect up to as many as 70,000 people could be at the Sunday rally.

    Among those arrested today were long time Civil Rights Activist Julian Bonds, the National Executive Director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune and Sierra Club Board President Allison Chin – a first for the Sierra Club history in actively supporting Civil Disobedience for environmental reasons, actress and activist Darryl Hannah, 350.org President Bill McKibben, NASA Climatologist James Hansen, and of course Nebraska ranchers Randy Thompson and Suz Lubbe as well as a couple of more Nebraskans. For photos of today’s arrest action in D.C.:


  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    Gerard, you’re an idiot. The refineries are DUTY FREE! The US government see NOT ONE PENNY in tax revenue from the Tarsands crude to be refined there, nor in its transportation since BOTH the IRS and Congress do NOT consider Tarsands crude to be normal crude oil. The ONLY ones to profit from it are the Koch brothers who own several of the refineries on the Texas Gulf the pipeline is supposed to be routed to, as well as tens of thousands of square miles of boreal forest over-lying the Tarsands in Alberta and several Tarsands development companies including Chevron, the Canadian Tarsands developers, the pipeline company TransCanada and the Chinese who have a large stake of tens of billions of dollars in several Canadian Tarsands development companies and in large tracts of the Alberta boreal forest. So who is this “we” you refer to, Gerard, the mouse in your pocket? Surely you can’t be the ignorant buffoon that you let on to be by your totally asinine posts, but then again you could be.

  • You have serious rage issues, guy.

    Refiners make profits and pay corporate tax. US pension funds own stock in those refiners, and make money on that stock. Men who work at those refiners earn wages and pay tax on those wages.

    Didn’t they cover this before you dropped out of middle school?

  • Low carbon footprint I see.

  • We could also give everyone buckets and carry it from the Canadian border to Texas. That would employ even more.

  • Every pension and retirement fund in the country owns stock in drillers, pipeline companies and refiners, to say nothing of service companies. All those companies pay corporate tax.

  • I support the concept of unbail, where citizens can pay an unbail bond, and the cops keep the wackos locked up.

  • cliveklg

    No they do not. That area is a Tax free haven.

    35 permanent jobs is all this will create.

    This pipeline has nothing to do with our energy independence, security, nor fuel prices.

  • cliveklg

    You mean like gulags in the Soviet Union. How patriotic.

  • cliveklg

    Actually most rode a bus together, so yes indeed.