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Common Dreams

In Nebraska, I Stand with the Many Who Stand Against Keystone XL

Besides the uncontrollable urge and feelings that consume me to fight KXL, to defend our land and water, to stand up for what is right and good, to preserve what has been handed to me through the generations, to have the foresight to think of the consequences that the next generation may face, I stand against KXL for these Nebraskans. For the men diagnosed with cancer who continue to fight for their water and land even though they should first care for their health.

I stand with the women who instantly form tears in their eyes when I mention TransCanada and eminent domain.

I stand with the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer lovers. The men and women who have left no stone unturned while spending every waking hour researching ways to compete with big oil. The woman who seeks consolation in hugs from strangers to comfort the sadness and anger she feels towards TransCanada for taking the land passed to her from her great grandparents. The man on the other end of the phone who says, “I signed with TransCanada, but I wish I wouldn’t have. I lost my wife, and I was tired and couldn’t take it anymore I finally just gave into them.” The happily married couple who saved to build their dream home and later learned that KXL would go right through the middle of their newly poured basement.

I stand with the little old woman who says she is tired of dealing with TransCanada, so she just signs with them so they will leave her alone. For those that appreciate the Sandhills not just for their beauty but also for the delicately balanced ecosystem that supports Nebraska.

I stand with the farm wife who relays on the phone her disgust of the politics being played with Nebraskans land and water. For those who have an appreciation for the Ogallala Aquifer and all life that it sustains.

I stand up for the men and women who have spent their entire life working the land with their hands to now learn that they have to defend their land with their voices. The ‘lil old man who was just released from the hospital who dismisses his own health to attend a pipeline meeting because he feels he needs to stay informed. The grandparents without a computer who rely on the news media littered with TransCanada marketing to gather the facts. The husband and wife who lost a son, had a fire, and then learned that TransCanada’s new route would go through the middle of their property.

I stand for the retired couple that will have the pipeline 500ft from their back door.

I stand for the old man who tells me my voice is too high pitched when I phone him to talk about KXL.

I stand for the little old widow who says she isn’t sure if she signed with TransCanada, but they came to her house.


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I stand with the 78‐year‐old man that has spent his lifetime working the land, attending each pipeline meeting with the map of the pipeline crossing through his farm, sorrowfully shaking his head when someone asks him about the route.

I stand for the farmers and ranchers who have passed their land through the generations because of good stewardship.

I stand for the mother who fears her children’s future and the water crisis that they may face.

I stand for the Nebraskans who have more work than they can finish in a year but still find time to stand up for their land and water and their neighbor’s land and water.

I stand with the men who spent their life preserving the natural resources of Nebraska through exhaustive research, phone calls, and hand written notes now deceased.

I stand for the grandmother who worries about the health effects that her grandchildren may face because of the undetected carcinogens slowly leaking into their water.

I stand with my Dad and the many other Nebraskans who have become guardians of the Ogallala Aquifer for the next generation of Nebraskans.

I stand with all of the Nebraskans who have been mislead, misrepresented, misinformed, taken advantage of, and used by TransCanada.

My heart goes out to each and every one of these people and I will continue to be their voice and stand with them until the bitter end, the people will prevail, the power is in the people, we will win and we will defend the future of Nebraska, the Ogallala Aquifer!

Amy Schaffer

Amy Schaffer lives in Louisville, Nebraska.


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