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article imageOp-Ed: Approval of Keystone XL Pipeline Narrowly defeated in Senate

By Sharon D. Froehlich     Nov 20, 2014 in Environment
The Keystone XL pipeline, recently approved by the House of Representatives, narrowly missed approval in the Senate on November 18. Myself and many others, private citizens and environmental groups, let out a big collective sigh of temporary relief.
According to the Keystone XL website, "Keystone XL Pipeline will be the safest and most advanced oil pipeline operation in North America. It will not only bring essential infrastructure to North American oil producers, but it will also provide jobs, long-term energy independence and an economic boost to Americans." But can we believe this? Many people, private citizens, Native Americans whose land the pipeline is supposed to cross, and environmental groups think otherwise.
Nebraska Rancher Randy Thompsom, in an open letter to the Senate regarding the vote says, "TransCanada has spent millions of dollars to tell you and your staff that their pipeline is good for America. From one American to another, though, I must tell you that they have been misleading you and misleading the public. Keystone XL will pollute our water, pollute our air, and tarnish our American values by prioritizing Big Oil over American citizens.
We are asking that you stand with us in defense of both property rights and Nebraska’s state rights by voting no on the Keystone XL pipeline bill. You must remember that there is no legal route in Nebraska. Governor Heineman used an unconstitutional law to take authority away from the Public Service Commission and instead give his office pipeline siting and eminent domain authority. That decision was a direct violation of our state constitution and the judge agreed with us.
Last week while you were home with your family, Nebraska farmers and ranchers stood side-by-side with tribal leaders in DC to ask elected officials like you to protect our land, water and future generations. Not only is tar sands more carbon intensive than traditional crude oil, it is also far more difficult—and more expensive—to clean when it spills. The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the country’s largest sources of freshwater; even a small leak in the aquifer, our rivers or a family’s water well will have devastating consequences for our agriculture and ranching, and for every family that relies on clean water for their livelihoods.
Please think about us as you make a decision on how to vote regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. We do not have the millions to spend on TV ads and lobby campaigns. But we have our stories, we have our voices and we have our pride in the land that was passed down to us through generations.
We invite you to visit with us at our farms and ranches. We can also come to DC to meet with you and discuss the heavy-handed tactics TransCanada has used in our states, their threats of eminent domain and the very one-sided contract they force on to our families.
I once said at a rally and now many of us remind folks often of this simple fact—there is no red or blue water, only clean or polluted. Ignore the color of your party on this one. Stand with our families.
—Randy Thompson[/url
[quote][url=http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/native-american-willing-spill-my-blood-stop-keystone-xl t=_blank][url=http://The leader of a South Dakotan Native American tribe says he is willing to fight and even spill his own blood to stop the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, whose path crosses his tribe’s land, from being built.
President Cyril Scott of the Rosebud Sioux was on Capitol Hill Tuesday ahead of the contentious Senate vote on the project. He hoped to lobby lawmakers to kill the pipeline – which would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico – but if the legislative process ultimately fails his cause, other options are on the table, including lawsuits and maybe more.
“We gave up a lot of things so that we wouldn’t be in wars. We wanted to raise our people peacefully, but they don’t want that. They want the Native Americans to always be in struggle,” he told msnbc in an interview. “Well we struggle no more. We tell the Keystone XL pipeline: Come to our lands and we will fight you there. We are ready. Don’t come without expecting a fight, because we will give you a fight. I am willing to spill my blood on behalf of our people.”
Scott clarified that was he was not speaking metaphorically or figuratively. “If they come to our land, that’s what I mean,” he said. “If it comes down to it. We hope it don’t, we’d rather use a legal war.”
Scott and leaders from seven other tribes in the Great Sioux Nation will meet in Washington to discuss next steps to resist the pipeline project.
The tribe last week declared that a vote to authorize the controversial pipeline, which would carry tar sand oil from Canada to a port in Louisiana, amounts to an “act of war” against the tribe. Members of the tribe have for seven months been camped in the proposed path of the pipeline, and say they’ll stay there “forever” if need be to stop the pipeline.
Scott said the pipeline represents an existential threat to his people. “What they’re proposing to do here is once again try to annihilate our people, the Rosebud Sioux. We’ve been massacred at Wounded Knee, we had the big victory at the Battle of Little Bighorn, but our people have been massacred throughout the generations,” he explained.
“Tar sand oil is the worst thing ever to be proposed to cross not only our treaty lands and the lands of our ancestors, but one of the biggest water aquifers in the world,” he said.
The Sioux fear especially for the quality of their water in case of a pipeline leak, which they say would hurt not just their children but all American children. They would rather not fight, Scott said. “By no means do we want to lead our people to war with Keystone XL pipeline or anybody else, we want to lead a peaceful existence to be able to raise our children and practice our religions and our cultures and our way of life, but they’re preventing it with Keystone XL pipeline,” he said.
“The last time were together, we killed Custer ,” he added with a guffaw.
Native American activists joined youth climate protesters and others in demonstrating against the pipeline on Capitol Hill Tuesday, ahead of the planned vote.
About 30 activists occupied the office of Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat who said he is voting in favor of the pipeline. Protesters also staged a sit-in at the offices of Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, another Democrat who supports the pipeline.
Lindsey Halvorson volunteered on Bennett’s campaign, but came today to express her disappointment in the senator. “I worked tirelessly” for Bennett, said the Colorado native, who is now a student at American University. “I didn’t not vote for him for this.”
The final Senate vote on Tuesday was 59-41, which was one vote shy of the 60 vote threshold the legislation needed to advance. t=_blank][url=http://The leader of a South Dakotan Native American tribe says he is willing to fight and even spill his own blood to stop the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, whose path crosses his tribe’s land, from being built.
President Cyril Scott of the Rosebud Sioux was on Capitol Hill Tuesday ahead of the contentious Senate vote on the project. He hoped to lobby lawmakers to kill the pipeline – which would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico – but if the legislative process ultimately fails his cause, other options are on the table, including lawsuits and maybe more.
“We gave up a lot of things so that we wouldn’t be in wars. We wanted to raise our people peacefully, but they don’t want that. They want the Native Americans to always be in struggle,” he told msnbc in an interview. “Well we struggle no more. We tell the Keystone XL pipeline: Come to our lands and we will fight you there. We are ready. Don’t come without expecting a fight, because we will give you a fight. I am willing to spill my blood on behalf of our people.”
Scott clarified that was he was not speaking metaphorically or figuratively. “If they come to our land, that’s what I mean,” he said. “If it comes down to it. We hope it don’t, we’d rather use a legal war.”
Scott and leaders from seven other tribes in the Great Sioux Nation will meet in Washington to discuss next steps to resist the pipeline project.
The tribe last week declared that a vote to authorize the controversial pipeline, which would carry tar sand oil from Canada to a port in Louisiana, amounts to an “act of war” against the tribe. Members of the tribe have for seven months been camped in the proposed path of the pipeline, and say they’ll stay there “forever” if need be to stop the pipeline.
Scott said the pipeline represents an existential threat to his people. “What they’re proposing to do here is once again try to annihilate our people, the Rosebud Sioux. We’ve been massacred at Wounded Knee, we had the big victory at the Battle of Little Bighorn, but our people have been massacred throughout the generations,” he explained.
“Tar sand oil is the worst thing ever to be proposed to cross not only our treaty lands and the lands of our ancestors, but one of the biggest water aquifers in the world,” he said.
The Sioux fear especially for the quality of their water in case of a pipeline leak, which they say would hurt not just their children but all American children. They would rather not fight, Scott said. “By no means do we want to lead our people to war with Keystone XL pipeline or anybody else, we want to lead a peaceful existence to be able to raise our children and practice our religions and our cultures and our way of life, but they’re preventing it with Keystone XL pipeline,” he said.
“The last time were together, we killed Custer ,” he added with a guffaw.
Native American activists joined youth climate protesters and others in demonstrating against the pipeline on Capitol Hill Tuesday, ahead of the planned vote.
About 30 activists occupied the office of Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat who said he is voting in favor of the pipeline. Protesters also staged a sit-in at the offices of Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, another Democrat who supports the pipeline.
Lindsey Halvorson volunteered on Bennett’s campaign, but came today to express her disappointment in the senator. “I worked tirelessly” for Bennett, said the Colorado native, who is now a student at American University. “I didn’t not vote for him for this.”
The final Senate vote on Tuesday was 59-41, which was one vote shy of the 60 vote threshold the legislation needed to advance. t=_blank]The leader of a South Dakotan Native American tribe says he is willing to fight and even spill his own blood to stop the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, whose path crosses his tribe’s land, from being built.
President Cyril Scott of the Rosebud Sioux was on Capitol Hill Tuesday ahead of the contentious Senate vote on the project. He hoped to lobby lawmakers to kill the pipeline – which would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico – but if the legislative process ultimately fails his cause, other options are on the table, including lawsuits and maybe more.
“We gave up a lot of things so that we wouldn’t be in wars. We wanted to raise our people peacefully, but they don’t want that. They want the Native Americans to always be in struggle,” he told msnbc in an interview. “Well we struggle no more. We tell the Keystone XL pipeline: Come to our lands and we will fight you there. We are ready. Don’t come without expecting a fight, because we will give you a fight. I am willing to spill my blood on behalf of our people.”
Scott clarified that was he was not speaking metaphorically or figuratively. “If they come to our land, that’s what I mean,” he said. “If it comes down to it. We hope it don’t, we’d rather use a legal war.”
Scott and leaders from seven other tribes in the Great Sioux Nation will meet in Washington to discuss next steps to resist the pipeline project.
The tribe last week declared that a vote to authorize the controversial pipeline, which would carry tar sand oil from Canada to a port in Louisiana, amounts to an “act of war” against the tribe. Members of the tribe have for seven months been camped in the proposed path of the pipeline, and say they’ll stay there “forever” if need be to stop the pipeline.
Scott said the pipeline represents an existential threat to his people. “What they’re proposing to do here is once again try to annihilate our people, the Rosebud Sioux. We’ve been massacred at Wounded Knee, we had the big victory at the Battle of Little Bighorn, but our people have been massacred throughout the generations,” he explained.
“Tar sand oil is the worst thing ever to be proposed to cross not only our treaty lands and the lands of our ancestors, but one of the biggest water aquifers in the world,” he said.
The Sioux fear especially for the quality of their water in case of a pipeline leak, which they say would hurt not just their children but all American children. They would rather not fight, Scott said. “By no means do we want to lead our people to war with Keystone XL pipeline or anybody else, we want to lead a peaceful existence to be able to raise our children and practice our religions and our cultures and our way of life, but they’re preventing it with Keystone XL pipeline,” he said.
“The last time were together, we killed Custer ,” he added with a guffaw.
Native American activists joined youth climate protesters and others in demonstrating against the pipeline on Capitol Hill Tuesday, ahead of the planned vote.
About 30 activists occupied the office of Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat who said he is voting in favor of the pipeline. Protesters also staged a sit-in at the offices of Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, another Democrat who supports the pipeline.
Lindsey Halvorson volunteered on Bennett’s campaign, but came today to express her disappointment in the senator. “I worked tirelessly” for Bennett, said the Colorado native, who is now a student at American University. “I didn’t not vote for him for this.”
The final Senate vote on Tuesday was 59-41, which was one vote shy of the 60 vote threshold the legislation needed to advance.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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