Global Climate March in Omaha Nov. 29

Think globally, act locally: Join the Global Climate Match Sunday, November 29, at the Crossroads Mall in Omaha, 72nd and Dodge streets.

Bill McKibben of explains why showing worldwide support this year is more important than ever:

“Things happen in the world, and a big terrible one happened last week in Paris. Along with the rest of you, we’ve spent the past week or so grappling with the aftermath of November 13th’s horrible attacks. It’s been a week of terrible sadness — and of renewed resolve.

“After the attacks, French authorities banned big public gatherings for a time in the city. Although activists in Paris are working hard to figure out alternatives, there won’t be a French repeat of last year’s mammoth New York procession.
But that makes it all the more important that our voices get heard outside of Paris. The problem is global warming, we have a global movement, and now we need to show it.

“Next weekend, when we would have been marching in Paris, we need everyone who is not there marching everywhere else. It’s going to be a test of our nimbleness. Already there are more than 2,000 rallies scheduled around the world.

“It doesn’t need to be huge — it just needs to be inspired by the hope that our leaders might actually do something in Paris, and by the certain knowledge that they won’t if we don’t push them.

“If you have wondered what you could do for the people of Paris — well, there are 400,000 or so of them who wanted to march for climate action next weekend. You can march on their behalf, and in the process help build some kind of hope. The world needs that now more than ever.

“This October was the hottest month the world has ever measured, and 2015 is now certain to be the hottest year in earth’s recorded history. It’s time for us to turn up the heat too — from every corner of our shared planet.

Gov. Ricketts tells nonprofits to stop taking Syrian refugees

From the Governor’s press release:

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts sent a letter to refugee resettlement agencies in Nebraska to urge them not to pursue resettlement of Syrian refugees.

“Nebraska is a welcoming place for families seeking a home to live, work, and raise a family. While I understand the danger and persecution many are facing in the Middle East, it is important that our state and our nation consider the safety and security of Nebraskans and Americans first in any refugee resettlement efforts. The terrorist attacks that occurred over the weekend in Paris are a solemn reminder of the reach and strength of ISIS and their agents.

“Today, I am requesting that all refugee resettlement agencies in our state decline to participate in potential Syrian refugee resettlement efforts.”

Learn more about the Syrian refugee issue and the role played by state governments:

Clogging the pipeline: Nebraska’s role in the KXL’s demise

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

An unlikely gang of compatriots — urban environmentalists, ranchers in cowboy hats, preachers, politicians and an Omaha tribe schoolteacher — filled a small bar in Lincoln’s Railyard earlier this month for an impromptu celebration.

They hugged, exchanged handshakes and high-fives. After nearly a decade of rallies, letter writing, concerts, cookie baking and testimony, they had won.

President Barack Obama had rejected the Keystone XL pipeline.

“Nebraska is usually dismissed on the national stage as flyover country,” Rev. Kim Morrow of the Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light said that Nov. 6 night.

“But what we have found is that like the story of David and Goliath, the fight against the Keystone pipeline has shown the world (that) the people who love their land possess the five smooth stones to slay the giant.”

Obama didn’t mention Nebraska in his seven-minute explanation for denying the cross-border permit for the project, but in the nearly decade-long odyssey that led up to the announcement, events often pivoted around the Cornhusker State.

Read the full story.

Obama rejects Keystone XL

This post will be updated as more news and and perspectives are released.

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — President Obama is expected on Friday to announce he has rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ending a seven-years-long review that had become a flash point in the debate over his climate policies.

President Obama’s denial of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of carbon-heavy petroleum from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast, comes as he is seeking to build an ambitious legacy on climate change.

The expected decision comes ahead of a major United Nations summit meeting on climate change to be held in Paris in December, when Mr. Obama hopes to help broker a historic agreement committing the world’s nations to enacting new policies to counter global warming. While the rejection of the pipeline would be largely symbolic, Mr. Obama has sought to telegraph to other world leaders that the United States is serious about acting on climate change.

Press release from BOLD Nebraska.

Send a thank-you to the White House via BOLD Nebraska.

President Obama’s Statement.

Article from the Omaha World-Herald.

Article from the Lincoln Journal-Star.

Vox’s Brad Plumer on what this means going forward.

More next steps at

Watch a video thanks from the Natural Resources Defense Council.


As TransCanada presses ‘pause’, urge Obama to hit ‘STOP’

From BOLD Nebraska:

Recognizing that President Obama’s rejection of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is inevitable, TransCanada requested tonight that the State Department pause its review of the pipeline, citing the uncertain status of the route in Nebraska.

Given that the route in Nebraska has long been uncertain, it is obvious that this is simply a desperate attempt to run out the clock on Obama’s presidency in hopes that a Republican might take the White House in 2016.

It is important to note that neither the State Department nor President Obama is in any way obligated to grant TransCanada the pause they are requesting. President Obama has long had all the information he needs to reject the pipeline on the grounds that it would unleash reckless expansion of the dirtiest fuel source on the planet and be a disaster for the climate.

Moreover, communities along the pipeline route have spent the last six years of their lives with the threat of a tar sands pipeline running through their land hanging over their heads. It is long past time for President Obama to kill this project once and for all, and rather than put them through two more years of uncertainty, he should do so immediately.

Read the full statement from BOLD Nebraska.

Related coverage in the Lincoln Journal Star.

Looking forward after TransCanada’s latest move on KXL

From Jane Keeb of BOLD Nebraska:

TransCanada’s latest Hail Mary has many people scratching their heads.

For those of us on the ground, we see through their antics. Our formal press release is below, but I want to take this opportunity to peel back some of the curtain on TransCanada.

This is a LONG read! Before you dig in, make sure to RSVP to stand with landowners on Oct. 19th when they still go to court over eminent domain and the illegal routing process used by TransCanada.

Here is the bottom line: TransCanada cannot use eminent domain for at least 2 years because of a Nebraska law that makes it clear once you invoke eminent domain (which they did months ago) and then abandon eminent domain (which they did last week), you can not use those powers again for at least 2 years.

Read the full analysis.

Wind energy company says rules may force it to nix plans

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

An attorney representing an energy company that has plans for a wind farm in Lancaster and Gage counties said proposed wind regulations being considered by both counties may prevent the company from building in either.

Meanwhile, at least two Lancaster County commissioners said they are concerned proposed wind energy regulations they are to consider later this month won’t do enough to protect landowners from being negatively affected by wind turbines.

But David Levy, a Lincoln attorney representing Volkswind USA, said those regulations go beyond protecting the safety and welfare of residents and will make it difficult, if not impossible, to develop wind turbines in Lancaster and Gage counties.

“Essentially, what they’re going to do is make Lancaster County and Gage County effectively off-limits for wind energy development,” he said.

Read the full story.

Climate Action in Lincoln: Tell Ricketts to Submit a Plan, Not Kick the Can

From Progressive Omaha:

On October 14, join fellow Nebraskans in urging Gov. Pete Ricketts to take action on climate change. This is part of a national Day of Climate Action. Bold Nebraska and the Sierra Club are organizing an event outside of the governor’s mansion. We will be delivering 3,000 petition signatures asking Gov. Ricketts not to sue the EPA over the Clean Power Plan and to submit a state energy plan. The theme of the event is “Ricketts: Submit a Plan, Don’t Kick the Can.” There will be a massive game of kick the can outside of the mansion!

Meet on the north side of the Nebraska’s Governors Mansion at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 14. Bring your friends!

TransCanada abondons effort to use eminent domain

From BOLD Nebraska:

TransCanada announced Sept. 29 that the company will pull out of the lawsuit filed by over 100 Nebraska landowners challenging their right to use eminent domain to seize land for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Facing mounting legal expenses and a likely loss in court, the company will instead go through the Public Service Commission (PSC) review process it had originally hoped to avoid.

The PSC process will take at least a year, and cannot move forward if and when President Obama rejects the federal permit for the pipeline.

“This is a major victory for Nebraska landowners who refused to back down in the face of bullying by a foreign oil company,” said Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska.

Read the full story from BOLD Nebraska.

Read related coverage in the Wall Street Journal.

Join a discussion of solutions to poverty and inequality Oct. 10 in Lincoln

From Nebraskans for Peace:

Don’t miss a daylong discussion of poverty, inequality, and solutions organized by local members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, at Pioneers Park in Lincoln. The event will be Saturday, October 10, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lincoln, Omaha, and Central City Friends Meetings (Quakers) are hosting a day of challenge, inspiration, and community building with Don Reeves. Nebraska native Don Reeves brings a lifetime of experience working on issues around poverty and inequality. Don has served on the boards of Friends Committee on National Legislation, Bread For The World, and American Friends Service Committee where he also served as staff.

Morning discussion followed by lunch, small group discussion and music. Aaron Fowler and Laura Dungan, touring musicians, build community through songs that address issues of the time and matters of the heart. Lunch is provided by Nebraska Friends.

Suggested Donation: $10 (basket will be available at the event)

Questions? E-mail Jean, (Please contact us by October 5th for childcare and lunch count)

Directions: Follow Van Dorn street to Pioneers Park and follow the signs. (For further Direction: Google “Pioneers Park Nature Center.”)