Nebraskan Landowners Protest Keystone XL Pipeline By Installing Solar Panels In Path

The Nebraska landowners are taking action to preserve their rights and the environment.

Credit: Mary Anne Andrei/Bold Nebraska

In protest of the Keystone XL pipeline’s development on their private land, dozens of Nebraska landowners have joined the Solar XL campaign which involves installing solar panels in the direct path of the proposed pipeline’s route. According to Curbed, the homeowners are outraged that despite refusing to sell rights to the property, the Keystone XL Pipeline is still intended to run through their land. Joining the likes of sister activists in Pennsylvania who installed an open-air chapel in the direct path of another pipeline, the Nebraska landowners are taking action to preserve their rights and the environment.

In addition to being a last-ditch effort to halting the pipeline’s construction, the “panels not pipes” crowd funding campaign also seeks to raise awareness about the benefits of clean energy sources, such as wind and solar, versus “dirty” sources, including coal. Said Nebraska landowner Bob Allpress, who seeks to add one of the solar installations to his property:

“The need for the Keystone XL pipeline product is non-existent in the United States. 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.”

Credit: Mary Anne Andrei/Bold Nebraska

Part of the reason activists in Nebraska oppose the Keystone XL pipeline is because it threatens multiple historic sites, including the Ponca Trail of Tears, the Ogallala Aquifer, and the Sandhills. When enough funds are obtained, the first solar array will be installed at Jim and Chris Carlson’s farm. The couple has refused to sell their land to the parent company, TransCanada, offered them $307,000. Fortunately, they — and others — are supported by numerous organization, including Bold Nebraska350.org,  CREDOOil Change International, and Indigenous Environmental Network.

North Star Solar Bears has agreed to install the solar panels which will be connected to the grid. The campaign says, “If Keystone XL is approved, TransCanada would have to tear down clean and locally-produced energy to make way for its dirty and foreign tar sands.”

If you’d like to donate to the cause, you can visit the crowdfunding campaign here. Each nine-panel installation costs $15,500. That price includes labor as well as connection to the grid.

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