The Great March for Climate Action set off from LA in March, bound for DC on November 1. I first met them at the Mercury Cafe in Denver in June, when 350 Colorado helped welcome them, along with of course the Merc's local treasure of an owner, Marilyn Megenity. We had a great night of conversation & dinner, setting up the marchers with donations to keep 'em going.
This past Saturday, the marchers arrived in Bradshaw, Nebraska, close to the proposed route of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The terrific progressive activist group Bold Nebraska has erected a solar & wind turbine-powered barn in the propsed route, & it was there that Bold Nebraska, the Climate Marchers, & whoever else wanted to show up--me, f'rinstance--on Saturday for a pro-climate action/anti-KXL rally.
Now, I did not get the required amount of sleep in the required amount of time, so I got on the road in Denver a little late, & of course there's that pesky time change, so I missed the early events. Most notably, I missed hearing US Senate candidate David Domina, a lawyer who is spearheading the case against the pipeline's permit in Nebraska. The Nebraska legislature, following GOP tradition, apparently broke some rules/laws in approving the permit, which was overturned in court. It's headed for appeal in the state Supreme Court in September.
After a great dinner courtesy of Lincoln's food truck Nitro Burger, & lots of conversation with great people, we went up to the barn's loft to watch Above All Else, the documentary of the efforts to block the southern portion of the KXL pipeline in Texas. One of the protagonactivists of that film, Julia Trigg Crawford, was with us & talked about her experiences after the film.
Then the marchers were off to camp overnight, & I bailed for Grand Island & Motel 6 before driving back to Denver in the morning.
It was a short stay, but I am a fan of Nebraska, & these great people are my favorite new reason to appreciate the state. Jane Kleeb is super nice, although you can tell she's also super tough. I asked if Scott had plans to run for office again, & she said that could happen, because she bugs him about it alll the time. Nebraska Sierra Club chapter president Ken Winston was also there, & gave me the scoop on the NE lege's dirty deeds re: the pipeline approval process.
Nebraska's Pipeline Fighters have learned lessons from how things happened in Texas, & they have organized the landowners in KXL's path. We think of it as a red state, & culturally, that's true; this issue, though, has great potential to have a nontraditional outcome. Neither farmers nor ranchers are fans of the project, & even people who aren't convinced that tar sands development is a global climate catastrophe can find things to dislike about the potential for the most toxic form of petroleum to pollute their land & water.
If you can, please support the Climate Marchers, & the Pipeline Fighters of Nebraska.