TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline: Update and Petition

The debate and battle over the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline continues with efforts in the Senate to this via Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) with an amendment to the transportation bill.

The bill summary & status information  for S.2041 is located here:

Those opposed to the pipeline began an online petition campaign.  They were requesting 500,000 people to sign. The timeline for this was very brief, 24 hours.   This goal was reached in much less than that time but they asked people to continue past the goal.


Update: As of 5:30 PM Eastern, 798,464 have signed.

You can read petition here:

Below please find some articles on this topic on the Internet:



TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline: “Permanent” Nebraskan Jobs Number

Our research into different views and aspects of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline continues.  As many people know who are watching this closely, whether or not a Keystone XL pipeline runs through Nebraska and what  route there would be, if approved,  has not been decided in a definitive fashion. The  recent choice by President Obama to deny permission for the pipeline merely changed the arena for this battle. The fight either way, of getting or stopping the pipeline  is not over and will most likely continue with bills in the House and Senate.

If you are interested in guest blogging on this topic or being interviewed or know someone who would be interested, please email us at  We would like very much to present as many different sides and aspects to this issue as possible.

January 27, 2012

Veterans Roundtable with Congressman Lee Terry
Bellevue Chamber: DJ Dugout
Bellevue, Nebraska

A special thank you goes out to Congressman Lee Terry for visiting  in Bellevue, Nebraska to discuss veteran affairs and other areas of interest, including the pipeline.

Thanks to Congressman Terry,  our Nebraskan Politics blog finally has some number to associate with “permanent” Nebraskan jobs.

“Permanent” for purposes of this topic and our blog is defined as jobs that last the lifetime of the pipeline, so those do not include “temporary” jobs such as those needed for the construction of the pipeline.

Congressman Terry estimates that not more than 30 Nebraskan jobs would be created by the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline.

Special thanks also goes out to the Bellevue Chamber for hosting and facilitating another great and informative event.

Interview: with Bill McKibben on TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline

Interview with and Bill McKibben
January 5, 2012

Thank you to Bill McKibben of  for the interview.

Background Information

NP: Please tell us a little about yourself and how you began with your organization.

BM: i’m a writer–i wrote the first book about climate change, way back in 1989–and about five years ago began to be more involved in organizing. i started with seven students from middlebury college in 2008 and we’ve become the world’s biggest grassroots climate campaign, active in every country but north korea

NP: Please tell us about your organization and why you feel it so important to stop tar sands oil production.

BM: james hansen, the planet’s premier climatologist, explained earlier this year that the tarsands formation in canada was the second-biggest pool of carbon on earth, and that if it was fully developed it would be ‘game over for the climate.’ that seemed like something to avoid


NP: One argument in favor of the pipeline has been the number of jobs that would be created. There are a number of statistics available that vary greatly. Which does your organization believe is the most accurate and why? Please break down by permanent and temporary jobs, if possible. “Permanent” is defined here as those lasting for the lifetime of the pipeline. Are you aware of any numbers of permanent jobs for Nebraskans?

BM: the pipeline company has scammed people about jobs. they’ve claimed 20,000, or 100,000, or sometimes even more. but even their own numbers actually show about 6000 jobs, each of them lasting two years. that’s it. and the only study not funded by the pipeline company–it comes from cornell university–shows the pipeline killing as many, and perhaps more, jobs than it creates. remember,a pipeline is a way to make sure that you don’t need any permanent workers. every indication is the supply of jobs for nebraskans would be tiny at best

NP: Statistics also vary widely for leaks and accidents. Which do you believe are the most accurate and why?

BM: we know the precursor pipeline, much smaller than keystone xl, leaked a dozen times in the first year. that’s… not so promising. probably a good idea to talk to folks along the kalamazoo and yellowstone rivers to get a sense of what tarsands spills can do

NP: What do you think about TransCanada’s record?

BM: i think the record shows they use their money to warp the political process.

NP: If a pipeline had to be built or was decided to be built, what do you think the best route is?

BM: i think the best route would be the one that crossed no sensitive land or water. good luck with that!

NP: Please reply to these arguments that I have heard made in favor of the  pipeline. If you have any numbers that support how much oil the US will receive and how much will hit the international market or a break down of how much could go to which country, please add them.

-The US needs this oil and this is why we need the pipeline.

BM: most of this oil is apparently destined for export. and in any event, the u.s. is now a net exporter of gasoline.

NP: What did you think of the protest in Washington DC?

BM: i thought it was a classic example of people-powered politics. we don’t have money like the oil comapnies, so we need to use a different currency: our passion, our wits, our bodies

NP: Please respond to these statements:

-The Keystone XL is inevitable and nothing can be done.

BM: if i thought that, i wouldn’t bother to work against it. so far, we’ve made some progress

-Some people claim that the fight is over or the fighting spirit has been diffused with the decision to delay. What would you like to say to them?

BM: we have thousands of people signed up willing to put their bodies on the line if it’s ever approved. i think people are more fired up than ever, and understand better now that we need to take on the whole oil industry

NP: How have you used the Internet and social media to get your message out
and connect with others?

BM: we use the web a lot–in part because it allows us to make some of our own media. transcanada can buy tv ads–we can’t

NP: How effective do you think using Live Stream was for giving people the opportunity to view the protest?

BM: from what i heard, people really enjoyed it. but it couldn’t fully capture perhaps what a gorgeous day it was, or just how happy people were to be there

NP: Please list the different ways that people can connect with your organization to learn more.

BM: our name is our address:

NP: If people share beliefs that you have, how can they help stop the pipeline?

BM: organize, organize, organize!