Tag Archives: Bold Nebraska

In Blow to Pipeline Project, Court Invalidates Trump Administration’s Keystone XL Environmental Review, Blocks Construction

Written by Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska

GREAT FALLS, Mont.– A federal judge ruled today that the Trump administration violated bedrock U.S. environmental laws when approving a federal permit for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project. The judge blocked any construction on the pipeline and ordered the government to revise its environmental review.

The decision is a significant setback for a pipeline that investors are already seriously questioning. TransCanada has not yet announced a Final Investment Decision on whether to move forward and build Keystone XL should it receive all the necessary permits.

Continue reading here.

Bold Nebraska Image: Solar XL #2


Third Nebraska Family Installs Solar in the Path of Keystone XL Pipeline in “Solar XL” Project

By Mark Hefflinger, Communications Director, Bold Nebraska

The coalition behind the Solar XL campaign includes the Indigenous Environmental Network, Native Organizers Alliance, Brave Heart Society, Dakota Rural Action, Bold Nebraska, and 350.org. The panels were installed by the family-owned rural solar business, North Star Solar Bears, run by Jim Knopik.

“The need for the KXL pipeline product is non-existent in the United States,” said Nebraska landowner Bob Allpress. “The monetary benefit to the peoples of Nebraska will be gone in 7 years, while the risks to our state are for the life of this pipeline. The installation of wind and solar production in Nebraska will provide many good Nebraska jobs and provide years of cheap electricity for everyone in our great state.”

Read the entire news release and additional quotations, and view photos of the first and second Solar XL projects here. 

Images: Nebraska landowners Bob and Nancy Allpress and supporters. Credit: Jason Shald / Bold Nebraska


Federal judge orders environmental review of Keystone XL pipeline, by Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

A federal court in Montana has ruled that TransCanada must conduct an additional environmental review before it moves forward with the alternative route that has been approved for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline . . . Bold Alliance, an opponent that was among the plaintiffs in the case, welcomed the decision. “The court saw through the sham fast-track environmental review that TransCanada and the State Department were trying to shove past Nebraska landowners and Tribal Nations,” Mark Hefflinger of Bold Alliance said in a statement.

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.”


  • 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

Another Nebraska family installs solar panels in path of Keystone XL pipeline

By Lisa Neff, The Wisconsin Gazette

The “Solar XL” project has completed another installation of solar panels with Nebraska landowners in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — on the family land of Diana and Byron “Stix” Steskal that they named Prairierose Farm, near Atkinson.

The family partnered with Solar XL project sponsors Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Indigenous Environmental Network, CREDO and Oil Change International to put renewable energy directly in the pipeline’s path. Read more here.

Judge: XL foes can’t testify about safety, necessity

By Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — Pipeline developer TransCanada has won a ruling that bars Nebraska landowners and others who oppose its Keystone XL project from testifying about potential oil leaks and whether the pipeline is needed . . . Former Lancaster County District Judge Karen Flowers, who was hired to conduct next week’s hearings over the proposed Keystone XL, ruled that issues such as safety, necessity of the pipeline and whether the U.S. needs the Canadian oil are beyond the purview of the state’s review. She issued more than 30 rulings, based on objections filed by TransCanada, about what testimony would and would not be allowed at next week’s hearings over the Keystone XL’s 275-mile route across the state. Read more here, including statements by Jane Kleeb, founder of Bold Nebraska, now Bold Alliance.


Meet Jane Kleeb: Nebraska’s Boldest Keystone XL Pipeline Fighter, EcoWatch

As the founder of Bold Nebraska, which has since grown into the multistate Bold Alliance, Kleeb has successfully united Republicans and Democrats, ranchers and native tribes, country folk and city dwellers to battle the oil company’s attempts to push its project through. And while the U.S. State Department’s March 24 announcement that it was reauthorizing the project certainly dealt a blow to their common cause, the diverse group is not backing down.

  • Skeptics in oil industry question whether Keystone XL pipeline is still needed, by Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald
  • Infographic: How Tar Sands Oil Is Processed
    Bitumen from the mines is usually processed at an upgrading facility into synthetic crude oil. On average it takes about two tons of mixed tar sands to produce one barrel of crude oil. Raw bitumen can be denser than water, which can make it harder to clean up when it spills into waterways. Source: Energy Information Administration, Government of Alberta/Alberta Energy. Infographic: Alyson Hurt, Ayodha Ouditt and Andrew Prince / NPR 
  • Celebrate First Ever American Wind Week: Nebraska’s wind development milestones to date and many more projects “in the pipeline” — under construction and proposed.

Top Photo: Keystone XL Public Hearing in Omaha at the Ralston Arena on July 26th.
Credit: Bold Nebraska

Protesters plan to put solar panels in the oil pipeline’s path

Nebraska Radio Network Contributor, William Padmore, KLIN,  Lincoln

With the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s weeklong Keystone XL public hearing in Lincoln starting next Monday, BOLD Nebraska is launching a new plan to fight against the planned pipeline. BOLD founder Jane Kleeb says the group plans to place solar panels directly in the way of the pipeline’s proposed route. Continue reading here.

Keystone opponents build solar panel on pipeline’s route, Nebraska TV
Jane Kleeb, founder of Bold Nebraska, said they’ve raised over $40,000 online for their Solar XL Project and said they’re turning their words into action. “We’re not just out in the streets protesting with signs, but we’re actually building the type of energy we want to see,” Kleeb said. Polk County farmer, Jim Carlson, is the first to install a solar panel and said he turned down $250,000 from the Trans-Canada Corporation.

NBC Nebraska Newscast: Local farmer builds solar panel array on land to fight Keystone XL pipeline

August 7th through the 11th at 9 a.m. at the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, 333 South 13th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. Click this link for more information: http://www.psc.nebraska.gov/natgas/Keystone_Pipeline.html

August 4th Omaha World-Herald Article Regarding Testimony:
Judge: XL foes can’t testify about safety, necessity

Public Comment Form: http://www.psc.nebraska.gov/admin/admin_forms/pipeline.html

Hear From the Bold Nebraskans Who Won’t Give Up Fighting Keystone XL Pipeline

By Nicole Greenfield, EcoWatch

When TransCanada began knocking on doors throughout Nebraska in 2008, most residents didn’t know much about its Keystone XL pipeline or the dirty tar sands oil it would be transporting. The energy company was negotiating easements with local landowners in order to secure a route for its multibillion-dollar project—which would run north to south through the state, directly through the Ogallala Aquifer and across hundreds of Nebraskan rivers and streams. TransCanada threatened landowners with eminent domain if they didn’t comply. Click here to read their stories. 

Photo: Susan and Bill Dunavan on their land. Credit: Alex Matzke/Bold Nebraska


The Nebraska Public Service Commission has scheduled the following public hearings to take formal testimony on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline across the state:

Date: Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Location: Divots Conference Center, 4200 West Norfolk Avenue, Norfolk, Nebraska
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Doors open at 9:00 a.m.)

  • Public comments accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Commenters will have three to five minutes to speak.

The commission has also scheduled five days of public hearings August 7th through 11th beginning at 9 a.m. each day at Lincoln’s Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, 333 South 13th Street.

The commission also provides an online form for the public to submit comments.

Eminent Domain – World Premiere of an Omaha Playwright’s Work, Omaha Community Playhouse, August 25, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Description: On the surface, Eminent Domain exposes the hard-fought battle between Nebraska farmers and corporate energy. Dig deeper and the greater struggle is revealed: the fight to preserve our Heartland’s farms and the livelihood of the people who live here. Our most crucial resource is not just the land we are privileged to attend with cracked and calloused hands—it is our kin, our clan and our heritage.

Visit the Omaha Community Playhouse’s website

Omaha brothers bring clean energy to Standing Rock, help activists share stories worldwide

By Ifesinachi Egbosimba, ABC Nebraska TV

While most of us spent the day after Thanksgiving digesting or shopping, two brothers from Omaha were loading up solar equipment to take to Standing Rock, allowing activists to share their experiences with the world . . . Twin brothers Scott and Eric Williams, drove 9 hours from Omaha to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, to use their skills to help demonstrators document their fight. Read more here.

Bold Nebraska’s Tiny Barn Campaign

Photo: Eric and Scott Williams from Omaha posing with a solar panel they installed at the Standing Rock Reservation. The solar panel lights the tiny barn and provides clean energy to charge phones, computers and other electronic devices. Credit: Creative Commons, Scott Williams.

Eric is President of Nebraskans for Solar, and they are both members of the Nebraska Solar Schools working group.

Bold Nebraska has launched a new web-based, interactive map project: “Made In the Neb”

Made in the Neb logo

Bold Nebraska’s mission with “Made in the Neb” is to highlight businesses, clean energy projects, and small farmers and ranchers in Nebraska who support five objectives Bold is working toward to help make Nebraska a great place to live and work:

  • 40% clean energy: The smaller and more locally owned energy — like solar on rooftops and barns — the better. Right now Nebraska is roughly at 10% clean energy statewide, but Lincoln and Omaha are close to 40%.
  • Modernize state infrastructure in rural and urban towns: More bike paths, walkable cities, public transportation, parks and rural broadband.
  • Support family farmers and ranchers: Help more restaurants, schools, and hospitals use locally grown food; Local control of food systems and less Industrial Ag which often leads to abuse of workers, animals and the environment; we must also put an end to eminent domain for private gain so landowners have security over their property.
  • Protect our water: Ensure the Ogallala Aquifer is classified as a protected water source to safeguard our state’s most critical resource.
  • Ensure small businesses workforce and tax issues are a priority: Clear focus on health care costs; taxes and incentives that support small businesses while ensuring local schools have the resources needed from a fair tax base (i.e. stop tax handouts for big corporations).

Visit the “Made In the Neb” interactive map and website.
If you are a farmer or rancher who produces food; a homeowner who has installed renewable energy; a restaurant that uses local food; a music venue that promotes local artists; something in between, or beyond — we want to know about what you’re doing so we can spread the word to other Nebraskans and visitors to our great state.

If your business is not already participating, you can sign up here.

When you visit a location on the Made In the Neb map, take a photo and tag it #InTheNeb.

Thank you to everyone who supported our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign!

Nebraskans for Solar and Habitat for Humanity of Omaha would like to thank everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, “Solar Power for Habitat for Humanity Families.”

Over 100 donors supported the campaign, including:

Bank of the West $2,500
Bold Nebraska $1,000
An anonymous contribution from a California couple $500
43 contributions from 2014 Earth Day events $725
67 donations on our Indiegogo campaign site $10, 885

100% of these funds will be used to solar power two Habitat for Humanity houses, one in the Benson neighborhood and another one in South Omaha. Nebraskans for Solar and Habitat for Humanity of Omaha are continuing to raise funds to solar power three additional houses in 2014.

These families will be able to reduce their monthly energy costs by harnessing power from the sun for the next 20 to 25 years!

The money they save can be spent on food, healthcare, education, and other needs, benefiting their families and communities for a very long time.

Each solar hot water system is compact but powerful, generating about the same amount of energy per day as a 3-kilowatt solar electric system, or twelve 250-watt solar panels.

As we stated throughout our Indiegogo campaign, these gifts will pay our contributors back, greening our community and raising awareness about solar energy and how it benefits people and the environment.

As soon as all five houses are built or rehabilitated and the solar systems installed, each of our donors will receive an invitation to a solar tour and presentation.

We also wish to thank our supporting organizations for their help in spreading the word about our campaign to people who want more renewable energy in our communities:

Bold Nebraska, Community Power Network, Green Bellevue, Green Omaha Coalition, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Nebraska 350.Org, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Sustainability Leadership Institute, and Transition U.S.

Helen Deffenbacher, Fundraising/Grants Director, Nebraskans for Solar hdeffenbacher@cox.net

Kathy Katt, Senior Director of Development and Marketing, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha kkatt@habitatomaha.org