News Release: Tribes, Landowners, and Climate Groups Expand Campaign to Build Solar Inside Keystone XL Pipeline Route

Crowdfunding will support solar panel installations in South Dakota and Nebraska ahead of TransCanada’s plans for clear-cutting this Fall

Lower Brule, South Dakota — Today, an Indigenous-led coalition of pipeline fighters launched the next phase of their campaign, called “Solar XL,” to install solar panels along the route of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. The solar panels, to be installed in Nebraska and South Dakota, will help power the homes, farms, and Indigenous spirit camps of communities resisting the pipeline. This clean & renewable energy project stands in contrast to the threat posed by Keystone XL to land and water, Indigenous rights, and the climate. The coalition behind the Solar XL includes the Indigenous Environmental Network, Native Organizers Alliance, Brave Heart Society, Dakota Rural Action, Bold Nebraska, and 350.org. The campaign will be supported through crowdfunding.

Judith LeBlanc (Caddo), Director, Native Organizers Alliance, a national Native organizing and training network:
“Our future depends on if we choose to live in harmony and balance with Mother Earth. Projects like Solar XL, built with grassroots financial support and owned by Indigenous communities and family farmers, are our best hope for a future of sustainable energy that delivers us from dependence on fossil fuels and the harm caused by extractive industries.”

Mark Hefflinger, communications director for Bold Alliance:
“We’re excited to launch the next phase of Solar XL and continue to build our clean energy future while standing together to protect our water and land. The new Solar XL installations in Nebraska and South Dakota add to the existing resistance in the path of KXL that also includes the Ponca sacred corn planted inside the route along the historic “Trail of Tears,” the #NoKXL Solar Energy Barn, and Rosebud Sioux Spirit Camp in South Dakota.”

SOLAR XL LINKS

  • View the fundraising campaign here
  • View and download photos of Indigenous leaders in South Dakota and farmers and ranchers in Nebraska here for use by media with attribution.
  • Read the entire news release and additional quotes here.

Photo: Diana and “Stix” Steskal’s Prairierose Farm near Atkinson, Nebraska on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Credit: Alex Matzke / Bold Nebraska