Last updated on 2012.12.22
ÜI heard some corporate propaganda from TransCanada on WNAX yesterday, an ad touting that Keystone XL would be "the safest pipeline in America." Hmmm... that's like advertising that you have the cleanest hookers in Las Vegas, or maybe the best meth on the prairie.
TransCanada's propaganda responds to the concerted effort of Bold Nebraska and other grassroots activists to organize Nebraska landowners in opposition to TransCanada's effort to permanently seize and imperil our land for foreign profit.
TransCanada doesn't face the same amount of opposition in South Dakota, but there are some South Dakotans trying to stop the unhealthy fossil fuel addiction Keystone XL would feed. Brookings-based Fast for the Earth included a protest at TransCanada's regional office out on the bypass by Brookings in its "Launch Week" activities on August 7. Fast for the Earth has also issued its first "Fooling Mother Nature" awards, with a strong focus on TransCanada's trespasses against the environment and justice. THe winners:
"Pinnochio" Award: Governor Dennis Daugaard:
When campaigning for governor, Daugaard promised that he would meet with farmers opposed to the Hyperion oil refinery, but later refused to do so. Relative to the Keystone XL pipeline, the governor has maintained that it will create hundreds of jobs for South Dakotans, when a Cornell study has concluded that it will not be a major source of any U.S. jobs. But the real clincher in Daugaard's selection was his decision to award TransCanada, a foreign oil company, millions of dollars in economic development funds while he was cutting school funding and causing teachers to lose their jobs because the state suddenly had a budget crisis. (A crisis that didn't exist, he said, when he was running for office.)
"See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" Award: South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources and DENR chief Steve Pirner, for rubber stamping what fossil fuel and mining companies want and ignoring "the concerns of farmers and ranchers whose land is being impacted by TransCanada."
"My Favorite Boss" Award: Senator John Thune, for supporting TransCanada's use of eminent domain to build its pipelines, even though the oil will go to China and raise our gasoline prices.
"Sparkling Waters" Award: TransCanada, for endangering our water and wildlife for filthy tar sands profit.
For more home-grown environmental commentary, follow Fast for the Earth on their blog, Fast Talk. You can also find them on Facebook, where they have, among other things, some photos from a tour of Mike and Sue Sibson's farm. The photos show the same land I visited three years ago, when TransCanada tore up the Sibsons' land, against their wishes, to lay Keystone 1 in the ground. TransCanada said the land would be "as good or even better" for the Sibsons' cattle to graze. Weeds now stand over the pipeline where native prairie grass once grew. TransCanada said they would restore those native grasses, but TransCanada apparently forgot, at the Sibsons must graze their cattle elsewhere.