Keystone XL pipeline opponents celebrate recent victory

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February 26th, 2014

Omaha, NE– Opponents of the Keystone XL Pipeline are basking in their most recent victory after Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled that the law passed to approve the pipeline was unconstitutional.
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“That was a huge step for us and if we ultimately win this case it’s going to be a huge victory for all of Nebraska property owners,” Thompson said.

Randy Thompson is a Nebraska landowner whose property was once on TransCanada’s pipeline route. He said that American landowners should have their property rights protected and that the government shouldn’t allow foreign corporations to take land that isn’t theirs to claim. He also has concerns about the threat of a pipe leaking into the water supply.

“I think that the more Americans find out what’s going on with this pipeline the more they are not going to be for it,” Thompson said.

Thompson was recently joined by dozens of other Keystone XL Pipeline opponents at the Build Our Energy Barn in Bradshaw, Nebraska. Nebraskans from all over the state and groups from South Dakota and Idaho gathered at the farm for a conversation with Ed Schultz of  MSNBC’s “The Ed Show.”

Wizipan Little Elk traveled to Nebraska from the Rosebud Indian Reservation located in south central South Dakota to support Nebraskans who are also concerned about the environmental and legal aspect of the pipeline.

Little Elk said the fight against the pipeline is not only about protecting natural resources like the Ogallala aquifer, but also the health and wellbeing of those living on the reservation.

“That pipeline comes right through our land. It comes right through and adjacent to a number of our communities. We know that if it happens, there’s going to be man camps of 500-700 men who come into an area and live there for five to seven months and then they move on,” Little Elk said. “During that time it’s a huge increase in crime, prostitution, human trafficking, other environmental impacts and we’d be taxing   an already taxed police force and we don’t want those type of people in our community. We have to protect the health and well being of our community.”

Abbi Kleinschmidt’s family has owned the land that the Build Our Energy barn sits on since the 1800s. She said the family would like to preserve and pass it on to future generations, but eminent domain threats from TransCanada about the property has left them anxious and fearful for what lies ahead.

“The bully threats of eminent domain of just saying that they’re going to come in and just take out family’s land has not sat well with any of my family members,” Kleinschmidt said. “I have three sisters and we all actively farm this family ground. For myself personally it’s caused a lot of anxiety over the year since we found out about the new route, but I’m feeling a little bit better now with the law suit, with the decision.”

Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, said it’s important that Americans hear the other side of the story about the pipeline. She said while TransCanada doesn’t lie, they never tell the truth.

“We’re waiting to see if  TransCanada’s going to follow the law. If they’re going to submit their route. Until they do Nebraska has no pipeline route and TransCanada has no eminent domain,” Kleeb said.

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