2011 Ride

Nebraska Policymakers Drink the TransCanada Kool-Aid

Day 38 – Day 41: The Keystone XL “Tour of Resistance” extended our stay in Lincoln, NE to monitor the unsavory deal-cutting with TransCanada taking place at the statehouse. Not something I would recommended for people with weak stomachs.

Saturday: Spent all day and most of the night uploading more than 50 videos from the Montana and South Dakota legs of the ride to YouTube. Check out these compelling videos, and others from Nebraska I’ll be posting soon, by subscribing to the Renewable Rider YouTube Channel: http://tinyurl.com/7cwd4fd.

Sunday: Spent most of today brainstorming next steps with local supporters. Feel incredibly blessed to be making such amazing friends up and down the proposed pipeline route. Here’s another great interview by Daryl Hannah on Keystone XL:  http://tinyurl.com/bmunmaa.

Monday: Today was devoted to preparing our response to the pipeline legislation being signed into law tomorrow. I’ve seen a lot of politics in my day, but never have I seen such a blatant disregard for the welfare of a state as what I’ve watched unfold here. It’s as if Nebraska’s Governor and Senators are oblivious to the fact that the Ogallala Aquifer is the lifeblood of the state’s agriculture economy. Lest you think most Nebraska landowners are going to similarly roll over and let TransCanada threaten this precious fresh water resource, you might want to think again: http://tinyurl.com/82qxu6o.

Tuesday: This morning, Nebraska’s Governor and Senate leaders held what had to be the world’s shortest bill signing ceremony for a pipeline bill (LB 4) that guarantees absolutely no protections for Nebraska’s fragile Sandhills, let alone the Ogallala Aquifer. To make the point that lawmakers had drunk the TransCanada’s Kool-Aid, Ron Seifert and I brought mini bottles of the sugary drink to the Capitol to hand out. As Governor Heineman passed by me on his way to the podium, I offered him a cherry Kool-Aid Burst. He declined. So did all the Senators I offered them to. Maybe it was the flavor. The low point of the day was watching allied organizations celebrate yet another illusory victory over TransCanada, ala the Obama delay announcement. Don’t get me wrong, I could not respect more the fighting spirit of Nebraskans who succeeded in knocking TransCanada back on their heels, and certain hard-fought concessions were won on other legislation, but the end result of LB 4 was to fast track, not slow down, Keystone XL.

But when it’s all said and done, I refuse to believe the fair-minded and hard-working farmers and ranchers I’ve had the honor of meeting are going to let this corporate bully come into their land. For another perspective on what just happened here in the Cornhusker State, and why, check out this powerful editorial:  http://tinyurl.com/79lznku.

Back on the road tomorrow… really going to miss my new friends here.

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