From the Natural Resources Defense Council:
Yes, Trump has green-lighted the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. But Nebraska’s got a slew of public hearings on the calendar, and legal challenges loom large.
“Trump administration approves Keystone XL pipeline,” the headlines blared. It was March 24, only two months after he’d taken office, when it appeared that President Trump had cleared the way for the long-contested tar sands conduit with a stroke of his pen. In reality, summarily declaring that the pipeline is in the national interest—despite a seven-year U.S. State Department review process that had concluded the opposite—won’t magically bring it to life. The president, together with TransCanada, the energy company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, still have many obstacles to overcome before Canadian tar sands crude can flow through KXL and into the United States.
The first formidable hurdle they face is the state of Nebraska, which TransCanada has treated with contempt in recent years. First, the company drew the pipeline’s route through the heart of the state’s fragile Sand Hills ecosystem. Confronted by environmental concerns, TransCanada said that rerouting the pipeline would be “impossible.” Mounting resistance, however, forced the oil giant to relent and nudge the proposed route around some of the most sensitive parts of the Sand Hills. The pipeline would still, however, run through the important Ogallala aquifer—one of our largest underground stores of freshwater, which would be at significant risk in the event of a leak.
Now that the controversial tar sands pipeline has been reactivated by President Trump’s decision, TransCanada must obtain the consent of the Nebraska Public Service Commission and secure easements from the landowners along the proposed route through the Cornhusker State. It will not be smooth sailing
Read the full policy primer.
Here is a friendly reminder that Omaha Green Drinks will be taking place this upcoming Wednesday, May 24, at 5:30 p.m. at Whole Foods Market, 10020 Regency Pkwy, Omaha.
Carpool, cycle, walk, or ride the bus! This is a great way to network, inspire, share ideas, and catch up with other “Green” people!
Please RSVP on Facebook.
From BOLD Nebraska:
The Nebraska Public Service Commission has not yet announced any additional public meetings on the Keystone XL pipeline route other than Wednesday, May 3, in York at the Holthus Convention Center. So this is your next opportunity to make your voice heard on KXL. Speakers are limited to five minutes; first-come, first-serve.
(The formal intervenor hearings Aug. 7-11 in Lincoln are also expected to include an opportunity for public testimony, at the end of the week).
- Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Ave, York
- Wednesday, May 3, 2017
- Doors open at 8 a.m.; hearing from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- A rally and press conference are planed for noon to 1:30 p.m.
RSVP through BOLD Nebraska.
Join the Facebook event.
From Open Sky Policy Institute:
LB 461, the tax-cut package put forth by the Revenue Committee, is first and foremost an income tax cut for wealthy Nebraskans and the proposal does little to truly address property tax relief. In fact, LB 461 is fundamentally flawed in a way that makes it more likely to exacerbate, not help, Nebraska’s reliance on property taxes to fund K-12 education. Furthermore, some Nebraskans would actually pay more in overall taxes under LB 461.
Read the full policy brief.
Tax March: Demanding the release of President Trump’s tax returns.
Lincoln Tax March
- Saturday, April 15, 2017, 12 p.m.
- Nebraska State Capitol Building
- 1445 K Street
- Lincoln, NE 68508
Omaha Tax March
- Saturday, April 15, 2017, 1 p. m.
- Turner Park
- 3101 Dodge Street
- Omaha, NE 68131
March for Science: Supporting the scientific method and evidence-based policies.
March for Science – Lincoln
- Saturday, April 22, 2017, 3 – 4 p.m.
- Nebraska Union, 1400 R Street
- Marching from the Union through Centennial Mall to the Nebraska State Capitol
March for Science – Omaha
- Saturday, April 22, 2017, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Marching from Elmwood Park to Stinson Park
March for Science, Climate, and Social Justice – Hastings
- Saturday, April 22, 2017, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
- Hastings, NE
People’s Climate March: Standing up for the climate, for jobs, and for justice.
People’s Climate March, Lincoln
- Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10:30am
- Nebraska State Capitol Building
- 1445 K Street
- Lincoln, NE
People’s Climate March, Omaha
2016 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate Ajamu Baraka has accepted our invitation to speak at the Omaha event, starting at noon. The march will start at 2 p.m.
- Saturday, April 29, 2017, 12:00pm
- Gene Leahy Mall
- 1302 Farnam
- Omaha, NE
In Nebraska, there is still no permitted route for Keystone. Eighty-five landowners are refusing to give up their land to make way for the pipeline, and thousands more people are rallying to deny TransCanada their Nebraska permit for Keystone XL. They’re asking pipeline fighters from across the United States to support these efforts by submitting comments to Nebraska’s Public Service Commission urging them to include climate in their assessment and oppose the permit.
If built, this pipeline would poison our climate, air, water, land and communities, and violate Indigenous rights. Take action now to urge the Nebraska Public Service Commission to consider climate in their assessment of whether Keystone XL is in the public interest and to deny the permit for the project.
Send a message to the Commission via 350.org
From the Columbus Telegram:
National environmental groups and the company seeking to build the Keystone XL pipeline fired separate legal volleys Thursday over the contentious project.
Environmental groups — including one that got its start in Nebraska — made good on a promise to file a lawsuit seeking to reverse President Donald Trump’s green-lighting of the Keystone XL project.
Meanwhile, TransCanada filed a motion with the Nebraska Public Service Commission urging it to reject 56 people and groups seeking intervener status in the review of the Keystone XL route through the Cornhusker state, including the Nebraska Ponca and Yankton Sioux tribes and environmental and public-health advocacy groups.
More than 100 people and organizations, including more than 90 landowners and three labor unions, have petitioned to intervene, which would allow them to file legal briefs, cross-examine witnesses and present formal arguments to the PSC alongside TransCanada’s attorneys.
Read the full story.
From Omaha Green Drinks:
Let’s shake off winter and embrace the upcoming Spring weather at this week’s meeting!
This is a friendly reminder that Omaha Green Drinks will be taking place this upcoming Wednesday, March 22, at 5:30 p.m. at Whole Foods Market (10020 Regency Parkway, Omaha).
Carpool, cycle, walk, or ride the bus! This is a great way to network, inspire, share ideas, and catch up with other “Green” people. Looking forward to seeing you!
Please RSVP on Facebook.
From Nebraska League of Conservation Voters:
Please join us Thursday, March 16, for the Lincoln City Council Candidate forum – all of the candidates have committed to attending.
- When: Thursday, March 16th, 7:00 PM
- Where: The AULD, 1650 Memorial Drive, Lincoln, NE 68508
The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited. Please RSVP to attend.
This candidate forum provides an opportunity for voters to get to know the candidates and their positions, as well as highlight the differences in their proposed policies. All candidates have committed to attending. Candidates running for Lincoln City Council include:
- Leirion Gaylor Baird (Incumbent)
- Roy Christensen (Incumbent)
- Bennie Shobe
- Brayden McLaughlin
- Lou Braatz
- Tom Nesbitt
- Maggie Squires
- Deb Andrews
The questions asked during the forum will encompass a wide range of issues in order to provide the most informative experience possible for those in attendance. Candidates may be asked questions about energy and the environment, as well as sustainable growth, fiscal responsibility, government transparency, transportation, infrastructure, neighborhoods and housing, public safety, and education.
The forum is hosted by the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters (NLCV), NeighborWorks Lincoln, Witherbee Neighborhood Association, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Friends of Wilderness Park, and several other Neighborhood Associations.
The Nebraska Green Party’s statement in support of LB34, under consideration by the Nebraska Unicameral:
The Nebraska Green Party would like to express its support of LB 34 and thank Sen Ebke for introducing it. The strength of a democracy lies in its ability to accommodate a diversity of voices, and any improvements in that regard will have our support. Third parties already face steep obstacles to entry in the political arena, and this at a time when, at least nationally, voters seem to have very low regard for the leadership of the established parties and are left wanting by the high barriers to entry of our current system. We urge you to pass LB 34. The bill would not take anything away from the current ballot access situation, but provides an additional path to ballot retention.