Cowboys and Indians Unite Against Keystone

April 13, 2014

Bill Mckibben in Politico:

The fight over the Keystone XL pipeline is entering its final phases—a 60-day public comment period is about to end, at which point John Kerry and Barack Obama will be free to decide whether the giant project is in America’s national interest.

Oil companies and the Koch brothers have said yes; a huge array of groups from the nurses union to the Nobel Peace Prize laureates, economists to climate scientists, clergy to solar entrepreneurs have opposed it, making it one of the biggest and most contentious political clashes in decades.

But it’s fitting that what may be the final arguments will come from the two groups that have fought longest and most powerfully: ranchers and farmers along the route, and Native Americans on both sides of the border. The members of this so-called CIA (Cowboy Indian Alliance) are bringing their tipis and horses to the Washington Mall later this month; they’ll host an encampment for a week, rallying under the nose of the White House and attempting to buck up the president who once promised he would end the “tyranny of oil.”

 As a late arrival to this fight, I’ve gotten to watch these ranchers, farmers and indigenous leaders at work for the last three years. It’s been remarkable to see not only their political skill but the way their arguments have gathered power and force.

Ranchers and farmers began by defending their land from TransCanada, the company that has been trying to exercise eminent domain to run its 1,700-mile pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. They cited the danger to treasures like the Ogallala Aquifer and Nebraska’s Sand Hills, and they succeeded where “environmentalists” probably would have failed in rallying red-state support. In the fall of 2011, for instance, near the start of the campaign, a huge crowd at a University of Nebraska football game stood and booed a halftime TransCanada commercial on the stadium’s Jumbotron. It was an amazing moment


6 Responses to “Cowboys and Indians Unite Against Keystone”

  1. Alan Olson Says:

    Leave the fossils in the ground and spend a lot less money on renewables.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Leave which “fossils” in the ground and spend a lot LESS money on renewables? Sounds like an OmnoPlan to me.

      As an aside, I was planning to go down for the culminating parade and demonstration on Sunday, but word came out that it was being moved to Saturday because of “permitting issues”. I’ve got other things on the calendar for Saturday, so I’ll have to miss it, but maybe I can get down there late in the week and show some solidarity with the CIA (although no one will be watching). I wonder how much this last minute change in date will hurt the visibility and effectiveness of the demonstration?

  2. I will be able to be on the Mall early in the week, but not for the Saturday gathering. I’m looking forward to it!

  3. […] 2014/04/13: PSinclair: Cowboys and Indians Unite Against Keystone […]

  4. […] 2014/04/13: PSinclair: Cowboys and Indians Unite Against Keystone […]

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