SCROLL DOWN for this week’s Keystone XL pipeline Update and Action Alert.
Lincoln area: Congressional District 1
VIGIL AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY . . . Every Monday, noon to 1:00pm, Nebraskans for abolition of the death penalty meet in front of the governor’s mansion when weather is good, 1425 H Street, Lincoln. When weather is bad, the vigil is inside the capitol, near the Information Desk. The lunch-hour presence reminds the governor of a constituency that does not want state killings. Weekly vigils have taken place year-round since July, 1991. All abolitionists are welcome to participate for a few minutes, or the hour.
LINCOLN PEACE VIGILS . . . Lincoln peace vigils continue at the Federal Building, 15th and O streets, every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00pm. Contact Mark at 402.499.6672 or e-mail mark [at] weddleton [dot] com for more information.
OCCUPY EDUCATION LINCOLN . . . Occupy Education Lincoln and the Calvary United Methodist Church, 1610 South 11th Street, Lincoln, (corner of South 11th and Garfield Streets) will hold weekly Workshop/Skills Teaching Sessions, The Repair Cafe, every Thursday, starting at 5:30pm. (The time coincides with the start of FoodNet.) Toss It? No Way! Fix it, find another use, use some of its parts, recycle it, and say no to the throw away culture. Everything and everyone has value. We must discover the value. For more information, contact Barbara van den Berg, 402.488.6926, barbvandenberg [at] hotmail [dot] com.
REGISTER BY FRIDAY . . . This year’s Lincoln Ecumenical Legislative Briefing Day will be February 9, 2013, at Christ United Methodist Church, 4530 A Street. Registration begins at 8:30am. Workshops begin at 9:30 and continue until lunch at 12:30pm. For more details, phone 402.476.3391, or e-mail im50427 [at] windstream [dot] net.
SEED SWAP AT MEADOWLARK . . . The third annual Star City Seed Swap will be Saturday, January 26, 2013, 1:00 to 3:00pm, at Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso, 1624 South Street, in Lincoln. Are you a seed saver, or interested in learning how to save seeds from one season to the next? A seed swap is an informal get-together, where neighbors bring extra seeds saved from previous seasons and trade these valuable goods among themselves. It’s a useful way to learn what works best, and what doesn’t work, in our shared microclimate. Join gardeners around the world who are preserving plant diversity for future generations. Kick start your 2013 garden at Meadowlark.
RAIN BARREL PROJECT . . . All proceeds from the 2013 Artistic Rain Barrel project, promoted by Lincoln’s Watershed Management Department, will benefit the Lincoln Children’s Zoo to support summer classes, educational information for exhibits and other environmental Zoo education programs. Completed rain barrels will be displayed at South Point shopping mall before being auctioned. Designs must be submitted by Wednesday, January 23, 2013, to be eligible for consideration. Twenty-five designs will be chosen. Click here for Program Guidelines.
OCCUPY LINCOLN . . . There is a calendar of Occupy Lincoln events here. The Facebook page is here. The Twitter feed is @OccupyLincoln. For more information, e-mail occupylincoln [at] gmail [dot] com or phone 402.585.5865. Corporate Greed is Revolution’s Seed!
Omaha area: Congressional District 2
WHITECLAY ACTION . . . Students from Creighton, UN-O, and UN-L are holding a student-led press conference to raise awareness of the issues regarding Whiteclay, Nebraska, and to call for action which includes a boycott of Anheuser Busch, on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 10:00am, at the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Room 3006, Harper Center, 602 North 20th, on the Creighton campus in Omaha. Visitor parking is available just south of the Harper Center. For additional information on the Whiteclay situation, including past efforts and current initiatives, please visit http://whiteclayboycott.blogspot.com. Contact: David Fuxa, president, WhiteClay Awareness Student Organization, Creighton University, at 402.657.8686, or e-mail davidfuxa [at] creighton [dot] edu.
OMAHA GREEN DRINKS . . . The January Omaha Green Drinks will be from 5:30 to 8:30pm, Wednesday January 23, 2013, at Whole Foods Market, 10020 Regency Circle, in the education room by restaurant seating, across from coffee bar. Green Drinks is an informal, self-organizing network now in 554 cities worldwide. The Facebook group listing is http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=79676035260.
OMAHA PEOPLE’S FILM FESTIVAL . . . There is a People’s Film Festival every Wednesday, 7:00pm, at McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe, 38th and Harney in Omaha. Wednesday, January 23, 2013, the film will be “Lifting the Fog: Part 3,” from the film record of a symposium on the 9/11 attacks. Panelists describe how they used the Scientific Method to reach conclusions that the official government explanations about 9/11 were outrageously flawed. The People’s Film Festival – Expanding Political Consciousness Since 2004.
FORUM ON CONSERVATION BILLS . . . Thursday, January 24, 2013, there will be a Forum on 2013 Nebraska Legislature Conservation Bills at First United Methodist Church, Cass & North 69th Street, in Omaha.
OMAHA PEACE VIGILS . . . Every Saturday, 1:00-2:00pm, there is a Peace Vigil at the northwest corner of 72nd and Dodge Streets in Omaha. Park next to 72nd Street, in the pet store lot. Contact Steve Horn, 402.426.9068, for more information about Saturday vigils.
ATM LEAFLETTING IN OMAHA . . . An Alternatives To the Military supporter who lives in Omaha would like to put together and participate in a local leafletting group there. She wants to start small–maybe leafletting at just one or two schools. If you have an interest in joining a Omaha ATM group, please contact Kevin Haake, firstname.lastname@example.org. The FB link is http://www.facebook.com/atmlincoln. Twitter is http://www.twitter.com/ATMLincolnNE.
Leafletting in Omaha.
ENGAGE OMAHA . . . One of the nation’s first city-wide, virtual town hall websites, EngageOmaha, is now online. Omaha residents may weigh in on issues for the city to consider. Pick a topic, and join the mix at http://www.engageomaha.com/.
Greater Nebraska: Congressional District 3
CENTRAL NEBRASKA PEACE WORKERS MEETING . . . Central Nebraska Peace Workers, a chapter of Nebraskans For Peace, will meet on Sunday, January 27, 2013, 3:00 to 5:00pm, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 5th and Elm Streets, in Grand Island. Meeting Facilitator will be Dave Sprague.
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE UPDATE . . . “We’re Energy Workers and We Oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline,” by David Coles, was published Thursday, January 17, 2013 by Common Dreams. This speech was delivered to a City University of New York forum, “Confronting the Climate Crisis: Can Labor Help Shape an Effective Strategy?” calling for a renewable push, providing good jobs and a safer world.
Save the Date: Governor Heineman Reject the Route Vigil Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 6:00pm, at the governor’s mansion, 1425 H Street, Lincoln. For details about plans from 6:00am throughout the day, click here. The Facebook link is https://www.facebook.com/events/411512762257892/.
From Bold Nebraska Executive Director Jane Kleeb: “It’s conventional wisdom in Canada that the tar sands companies need to get to coasts so they can sell their product to Asia in order to get a better price. What is surprising to many in Canada, is that the reverse is true in America. Instead of the truth, it’s conventional wisdom in America that the refined product we be sold to America…thats what we get told in TransCanada’s ads. It’s going to help us with “energy independence.”
Articles appear daily in Canada on the true purpose of these tar sands pipelines…to make tons of money selling the product to Asia for the highest price. Meanwhile, America is producing more oil than ever taking away TransCanada’s biggest claim that we need their oil. We have enough oil and we have enough pipelines.
If we let TransCanada get away with this scam of a pipeline, we are not only risking our water and property rights, we are risking increased fuel prices in the Midwest and competition with our own American oil on the coasts and in exciting pipelines. Meaning, tarsands companies will simply overtake the pipeline capacity leaving little room to move US oil. All for one purpose, to get tarsands to the Asian markets.”
Jane forwarded the following two articles.
US pumps up oil output to highest level in 20 years: “It said US oil production, already at a 15-year high, is now expected to rise to 7.3 million barrels per day in 2013. The EIA also expects 2014 production to increase to 7.9 million barrels, the highest total since 1988. That figure is up from a low of 5 million barrels in 2008. The use of unconventional drilling techniques in places like North Dakota and Texas has created an explosion in US production to the point where the US is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia in crude production by 2020, according to International Energy Agency statistics. The flood of new oil coming to the Gulf Coast could compete with Louisiana Light Crude, used in refining, and priced closer to Brent, said Kilduff.”
Kindermorgan Hopes to Triple Pipeline: “The company has set its sights on Asia, which pays the world price for oil instead of the North American benchmark which today is about $18 a barrel less. That’s more than $5 million a day at the current capacity, but at the proposed level would mean an extra $16 million for Canada every day. The company doesn’t seem too worried about environmental opposition as it tries to take advantage of Asian demand for Canadian oil.”
From the Western Canada Bureau of thestar.com, “Northern Gateway oil pipeline: Vancouver hearings overwhelmingly opposed to project” was published January 18th. Quoting the Petti Fong article, “During its hearings in Vancouver, the consensus has been unanimous: Of the dozens of speakers appearing before the National Energy Board panel reviewing the proposed Enbridge oil project, not a single person has spoken in support of it.”
Also from Jane Kleeb: “Below is a new article regarding the Aquifer, groundwater and the DEQ report. This is critical since the State Department will use the DEQ report in their process. Bottom line, we still have NO study on the impacts of a TarSands spill in the Aquifer. The DEQ report only addressed a spill of 42,000 gallons and we all know because of Transcanadas own admission their pipeline could leak over 600,000 gallons a day undetected. So looking at only a 42,000 gallon spill is a joke and the only thing it did was give political cover to Transcanada. Even with studying this smaller spill scenario, water is right at the contamination line for at least 3 yrs. This is what the DEQ says is “localized” and “minimal impact.”
The impacts on our groundwater also did not get proper scientific attention. Lastly, to use the aquifer in Minnesota as the benchmark which is NOT used for drinking water and the spill was light crude oil is also a joke. Lets hope Gov. Heineman can see thru this shame of a study and deny this route or Obama can see thru this and deny the permit.
IN THE NEWS: Report Fails to Settle Concerns Over Oil Spill Risk to Ogallala Aquifer, by Lisa Song, InsideClimate News, January 14th: “…Scientists interviewed by InsideClimate News agreed with the report’s conclusions that an underground spill probably wouldn’t travel far and that a single accident wouldn’t damage the entire aquifer. But they also said the report didn’t take into account other important factors: Some of the chemicals found in the primary type of oil the pipeline would carry are trade secrets, so it’s impossible to know how they would behave in the aquifer.”
Acronym TV Blog has posted a two part series, “Buried Truth–Uncovering The Keystone XL Pipeline,” by Brett Redmayne-Titley. From Part One: “A visit to the Keystone XL pipeline exposes TransCanada Corp’s orchestrated four year campaign of factual distortions, coercion, and fraud in the name of profit. This example parallels many other modern sagas of almost complete corporate control over American sovereign government, its courts, police, and will of the people. TransCanada’s corporate influence in building the KXL pipeline will produce from Tar Sands a, “Heavy,” unrefined oil. KXL will also produce certain short term, and long-term, environmental disasters. The first will destroy land, forests, lakes, rivers, wetlands, or wildlife habitat. Due to the massive amount of Tar Sands available, the greater disaster will be the resultant carbon emissions sufficient to terminate the advent of man on earth.”
“Buried Truth: Uncovering the Keystone XL Pipeline,” (Part Two.) The Plot Thickens. “The Keystone XL pipeline (KXL) will not serve as a vehicle for TransCanada’s quest for fifty years of tar sands oil profits unless it obtains two crucial objectives, a federal US permit allowing the tar sands oil to cross the US border from Canada, and a legitimate, legal claim to eminent domain from federal and state authorities. Although TransCanada’s advance planning and governmental influence managed to re-label a four hundred and eighty-five mile southwestern portion of KXL the, “Gulf Coast Project,” along the other 1400 plus miles a fight is brewing. TransCanada’s fraudulent statements and heavy handed tactics have preceded them into ever hostile waters. Affected landowners, who are rapidly waking up to the truth, now prepare to take on TransCanada armed with the information on KXL provided from East Texas and Southern Oklahoma victims.”
“Millennials Occupy TransCanada Offices Across the US,” by Candice Bernd, Campus Progress, from Truthout, January 12th: “On Monday, Tar Sands Blockade activists stormed a Texas TransCanada company office. Solidarity actions took place in other states, including actions at banks known to have investments in the Alberta tar sands.”
January 19th, Lincoln Journal-Star published a January 18th piece by Mark Drajem, “Keystone’s Tar Sands Waste Said to Warm Climate More Than Coal.” It reports that “Refining Canada’s oil sands into gasoline may speed global warming more than previously estimated after accounting for use of a waste product, which can be burned like coal.”
Amy Schaffer wrote “Stand by words, Heineman,” a January 14th LJS letter to the editor. “I urge people to take immediate action to contact Gov. Dave Heineman and ask him to stand by his letter to President Barack Obama telling him to deny the Keystone XL route because it crosses the Ogallala Aquifer.
In this letter (Aug. 31, 2011), Heineman states that maintaining and protecting Nebraska’s water supply is very important to him. He also states that he disagrees with the analysis of a shallow groundwater spill affecting a limited area. He then goes on to say that the Ogallala Aquifer is the “lifeblood of Nebraska’s agriculture industry.”
Toward the end of the letter, he states, “I am opposed to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route because it is directly over the Ogallala Aquifer.” I urge people to ask Heineman to uphold his words in this letter. The pipeline still will cross the Ogallala Aquifer. The Keystone XL can legally leak 1-1.5 percent of the tar sands oil it carries into our water, equaling 440,000 gallons per day; this includes undisclosed chemicals and carcinogens.”
If you didn’t read Greg Awtry’s York News Times Editorial “Before one inch of the Keystone XL is laid in Nebraska soil” last week, please make time to do so now. Then contact your elected officials, including the governor.
From Nebraska Sierra Club’s Ken Winston on January 19th, “One year ago today, President Obama denied TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline. He was right then, just as Governor Heineman was right when he told the President to deny the permit because it threatened the Ogallala Aquifer, just as Senator Johanns was right when he told Obama to deny the permit because it went through the Sandhills. Contact President Obama and tell him to stick to his guns, because the studies still haven’t been done about the risks to the aquifer, because Native American rights are being trampled, because fundamental American rights are being trampled, by a foreign corporation with a foreign set of values, and because we have something far more important than oil to protect, our water.
Contact Governor Heineman, 402.471.2244, and tell him he was right before and he should deny their route because it still threatens the Ogallala Aquifer. Contact Senator Johanns, DC: 202. 224-4224, Lincoln: 402. 476-1400, Omaha: 402.758.8981, and remind him of his mantra about trusting the common sense of Nebraskans, who will tell him the route still goes through the Sandhills regardless of what some map produced by government bureaucrats says. So help give our elected officials the backbone they need to stand up for us, for our rights, for our land, our water and our children’s future.”
Action: Call Governor Heineman, 402.471.2244, and ask him to deny the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route because of the risks to our water and property rights. Ask that he waits until the lawsuit against the unconstitutional LB 1161 is decided in the courts. The best path forward is for him to deny the route and have the Public Service Commission, which has the true constitutional authority to analyze pipeline routes in our state, be the siting authority. Ask Heineman to turn the KXL route review over to the PSC. For more information, go to http://boldnebraska.org/st
It is time for President Obama to draw a line in the tar sands, and reject the Keystone XL pipeline. Click here to sign a CredoAction petition to President Obama. The petition reads: “If you are committed to fighting climate change, you must reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. You simply cannot have it both ways.” If you are on Facebook, click here to post the petition to your Wall. If you have a Twitter account, click here to automatically tweet:
Tell @BarackObama: You can’t have it both ways on climate change. Reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
Sign a Natural Resources Defense Council Action Alert telling Congress to reject all attempts to force approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by attaching it to any unrelated legislation. The Keystone XL will deliver billions in profits to Big Oil while the people get stuck with poisoned water, contaminated land and an overheated planet.
“The Keystone pipeline will spew a massive amount of carbon pollution into our fragile atmosphere. It should be stopped. ” –Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party Presidential Nominee.
SAVE THE BEES . . . Bees have been dying off in the US at an alarming rate — nearly 30% of our bee population, per year, have been lost to so-called colony collapse since 2006. Scientists have long thought that the pesticide clothianidin was at least partially to blame. But the EPA has repeatedly ignored scientists’ warnings and Americans’ urgings to ban its use, citing lack of evidence. Now, a blockbuster study released this week by Europe’s leading food safety authority, EFSA, has for the first time labeled clothianidin as an “unacceptable” danger to bees. For a credoaction petition telling the EPA to immediately suspend the pesticide that’s killing bees, sign automatically by clicking here.
STOP FRACKING NOW . . . 4 Scary New Finds About Fracking, by Tara Lohan for Alternet, adds to the continually growing list of warnings about fracking.
From “Five Effects of Fracking You May Not Know About” by Alyssa Figueroa, AlterNet: “What comes to mind when you think of fracking? Perhaps it’s images of tap water being lit on fire or stories of families suffering health problems after nearby wells are fracked. Indeed, the health and environmental impacts of fracking are being documented, but it’s important to know that fracking is a catalyst for widespread negative consequences.” Petition Congress: “We, the undersigned, call on Congress to pass the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act this year. It’s time to hold the oil and gas production industry to the same standards as any other industry to ensure the safe protection of America’s drinking water.”
BUY FRESH. BUY LOCAL . . . . Farmers, gardeners, and craftspeople meet through The Nebraska Food Cooperative, an on-line, year-round farmers’ market and local food distribution service offering the best in local freshness. For ordering and pickup schedules, refer to the calendar here. Click here for products and prices from North Star Neighbors, a Cooperative member that doesn’t therapeutically medicate or unduly confine animals. Click here for Tomato Tomäto, Omaha’s year-round indoor Farmer’s Market at 156th & West Center. Shop for fresh foods grown in or very near your own community at Open Harvest, Lincoln’s member-owned natural foods retail cooperative at 1618 South Street. Buying local grows family farming, grows the local economy, and is thousands of miles fresher.
HELP NEBRASKA GREENS WITH GOODSEARCH . . . Each time you search the Internet (or shop online at a participating store), a donation can be made to Nebraska Green Party at no cost to you! To help NGP in this way, enter Nebraska Green Party where it asks you to name your cause at http://www.goodsearch.com/default.aspx. Bookmark the GoodSearch Homepage, or make it your own Home Page. Enter the url you want in the GoodSearch search box. Each time you do, one penny will be donated to Nebraska Greens. THANK YOU for your support!
Remember, every man-made by-product of the petroleum industry could be replaced by hemp. “Help Save the Earth, Time to Substitute Hemp for oil.“