We are farmers and tribal members from the route along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and we just rode into Washington DC on horseback and set up a tipi camp on the National Mall. We are here to tell President Obama to reject the pipeline. We live on this land, work this land, and drink from her sacred waters. We will not let this pipeline pass. We have lots of stories to share. We are here in a tipi answering questions at 11am ET. Ask us anything!

Also -- this Saturday, everyone is welcome to join us for a powerful gathering to send a possibly final message to President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline and the tar sands.

Check out proof: http://imgur.com/XkX8Grv

Check out photos from the first day: http://imgur.com/a/fiazt

Right now we have Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska and Aldo Seoane of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe on deck to answer your questions!

Edit: We are still answering questions, don't worry! There are many of us here in the National Mall, though it is lunch time so not many are at the computer right now. Keep up the comments and we will get to you!

Edit2: Still waiting on the lunch break... more people will come to answer questions, don't worry! In the meantime, you should know that the Keystone XL is built for exporting oil abroad!

Edit3: We're thinking of ending the AMA at about 3:00PM ET, thank you for all your support! We appreciate it greatly!

Edit4: We're still answering questions! Check /u/rejectandprotect to see some personal stories!

Edit5: Alright I think we're finished up here though we may come back to answer more questions and join the discussion later. Thank you all for your support. We will be here all week at The National Mall in Washington, D.C., culminating in a massive rally this Saturday!

Comments: 2945 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

bigtimepeanutbutter1754 karma

One thing I think a lot of people don't realize is that whether or not the pipeline is built, the oil will still get produced, and ultimately make its way to where it is demanded. Without the pipeline, the oil will simply get transported via trains or trucks. If the pipeline is built, it is actually estimated to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emitted during the transportation process by about 39%. In this sense, one could argue that building the pipeline is a good idea. What do you have to say about this?

eshope285 karma

This isn't an either/or decision about pipelines vs. rail/trucks. Rather, the tar sands industry wants it all, and is fighting the clean energy alternatives that will replace oil. As I indicated in a reply to another post in this thread, Alberta is landlocked. The tar sands industry wants to rapidly expand tar sands from the current ~2 million bpd of production to around 6 million bpd by 2030, and 9+ million bpd further down the road. In order to do that, they need ALL the pipeline and rail capacity that has been proposed, and more. So, a rejection of Keystone XL does in fact mean that the tar sands that would be transported through Keystone XL would have to stay in the ground. An economist at UC Berkeley has done some great analysis on how Keystone XL would in fact cause an expansion of tar sands and the associated climate change pollution http://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/it-just-doesnt-add-up-why-i-think-not-building-keystone-xl-will-likely-leave-a-billion-barrels-worth-of-bitumen-in-the-ground/

Prometh3u599 karma

No, thinking the tar sands will shut down because we can't ship it to the U.S. is naive. The tar sands are operating without the Keystone XL at the moment, why would they stop? Plus, like Harper said, there are many other countries willing to accept tar sands oil, like China, and we definitely won't stop production because some people in the U.S. want the tar sands to disappear. Plus, many people don't seem to realize the tar sands are jobs for hundreds of thousands of people, who also need to eat. Clean energy will have its day, it's coming fast, but the fact is clean energy is just not feasible due to economical and technological reasons yet.

TheRedCarey162 karma

He's not saying they would stop. Rather, the decreased costs/transit time of having a pipeline would encourage them to increase the extraction of tar sands, thus expanding the use of them. He never said that rejecting keystone would stop, it would simply limit the growth. Clean energy is actually feasible, it's simply not preferable for most given that the infrastructure is already in place for carbon-based fuels, and not for renewables.

Likes_Information50 karma

Except they'll just build a pipeline to the Pacific ocean and ship the tar sands oil to China. Seriously, people are deluded if they think a pipeline is not getting built one way or another.

rejectandprotect47 karma

Two responses to this: 1) Thus far, the First Nations and other Canadians in British Columbia have blocked pipelines headed to the Pacific, overwhelmingly rejecting these proposals as hazardous to their communities and coastlines. 2) The Keystone XL pipeline would be an export pipeline: http://priceofoil.org/2014/01/31/potential-keystone-xl-refineries-continue-increase-petroleum-product-exports/ -David Turnbull, Oil Change International

rejectandprotect2 karma

As an economist, I would point out that clean energy IS the lower cost alternative to tarsands oil (and fossil fuels more generally).The reason many don't see this is because: 1) fossil fuels are heavily subsidized to keep costs artificially low; 2) the damage they cause to human health and the global climate system have been completely ignored and externalized by the industry. If you add these costs back in through sensible carbon policy, the scales tip in favor of clean energy.

There is a false sense that somehow technologies just develop over time. This sense that someday clean energy will have its day when it miraculously becomes better and cheaper flies in the face of how technological progress has happened over time. Policy and incentives steer technological progress, impacting both the pace and the direction. Redirect the current incentives to fossil fuels and impose a price on carbon and you will be amazed at how rapidly the market responds. Kristen Sheeran - Director Economics for Equity and Environment Network

rejectandprotect70 karma


Actually, the both the tar sands industry and the financial community recognize that Keystone XL is a linchpin for tar sands expansion. In a recent interview, the CEO of Cenovus - a major tar sands producer - told reporters that if the industry doesn't get pipelines like Keystone XL, it will have to slow down its expansion.

Even the delay in getting new pipelines is beginning to have to have an impact on investment in new tar sands projects - the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that the delay in getting pipelines approved was reducing tar sands expansion by as much as a million barrels per day.

Rail and truck transport isn't cost effective for most new tar sands projects - tar sands is marginal oil that costs a great deal to produce. The higher costs associated with rail makes many new projects unprofitable.

The reality is that the tar sands industry, the IEA, and firms like Goldman Sachs all agree that a tar sands industry without Keystone XL will be much smaller than one with it. And that's good news for our land, water and climate.

Anthony Swift, NRDC

rejectandprotect59 karma

Well the transportation is the smallest contributor to the green house gas emissions. The big concern here is the water contamination and the emissions from petcoke. That is the real fight here. - Aldo Seoane

rejectandprotect43 karma

True, but as an economist I see value in the strategy of stopping KXl. There is a reason they want the pipeline built and that is because it is a cheaper alternative to shipping it via trucks, rail, etc. Stopping Keystone means increasing the costs to ship tarsands oil. Anything that raises the cost of fossil fuels levels the playing field for clean alternatives. Until such time as we have a sensible policy that imposes a carbon price that reflects the full costs of carbon to society, we should be doing everything we can to make it costly to extract and transport tarsands oil (or coal or natural gas). Kristen Sheeran, Director Economics for Equity and Environment Network

rejectandprotect18 karma

I'm a First Nations woman from Norther Alberta, one of the impacted communities that's going to be directly affected by what's going to ultimately carry through this pipeline. We are facing every major oil and gas company in the world and every transportation venue. The purpose is not to focus on, "it'll be transported either way," but rather that if this pipeline goes through it will further assist in the raping and pillaging of our homelands. As Canadian and American citizens and Indigenous folks who have all entered into Treaty agreements, it's not just an Indian problem anymore; we are all Treaty title holders and we all have an obligation to uphold those Treaties. If you breathe air and you drink water, this is about you. ~ Crystal, Beaver Lake Cree, Treaty 6

rejectandprotect9 karma

You know, big tobacco told us people would smoke anyway also…we have to put limits on energy sources that we know risks our land and water. It makes no sense to keep turning a blind eye using the excuse the "status quo" is the only way we can live. We know we have slowed down tarsands already with this pipeline stopped (so far!) and we know if Pres. Obama denies the pipeline it sends a message to investors tarsands is closed for business. -jane kleeb

rejectandprotect1 karma

That is like saying smoking doesn't cause cancer. Its a ridiculous talking point from Trasncanada and all their front groups to mislead and distract us from the real issue which is this is a risky pipeline through the Heartland of America so they can be bailed out of a bad investment in tarsands. We will not let them pollute our water and take our land. -jane kleeb

Trex_Lives-8 karma

Good luck getting a response to this question, he seems to be only responding to people who want to stop the pipeline.

Edit: Well done OP, keep the answers coming

rejectandprotect27 karma

We have been answering all folks and we welcome everyone to Nebraska to have a beer and eat some tarsands-free steak to talk more. -jane kleeb

notfurya249 karma

The first Keystone pipeline was approved, quickly built and has been in operation for years now... why do you wish to prevent the second pipeline... the Keystone XL?

rejectandprotect140 karma

Great question. The first Keystone 1 pipeline was approved by Pres. Bush and landowners had no idea what tarsands was…we then had the BP disaster, the Mayflower AR tarsands spill and the tarsands spill in the Kalamazoo river that showed us the risk to our land and water. We have much more information now. Also, Keystone XL route is crossing the Sandhills, the Ogallala Aquifer (which provides water for 30% of americas farms) and over 2,400 family wells just in Nebraska! -jane kleeb

MySnakeIsAwesome197 karma

President Obama just delayed making a decision on the pipeline- does that affect this action? And how do you view that decision?

Also, which tribes are represented at the tipi camp?

rejectandprotect197 karma

we feel as a lakota people and many other nations his decision to delay was a good decision. it affects us none but gives us hope that the people are being heard. I view it as a decision to give the people time to get their opinions and beliefs heard. I myself am from the Kul wicasa oyate/Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. Im here to support everyone that is standing for their beliefs and the protection of mother earth. Wicahpi Ksapa

rejectandprotect80 karma

No we feel that the delay gives us more time continue to fight for our treaty rights. There are so many tribes and first nation people to list. We have relatives from the four corners.. We even have relative from tribal communities in Africa supporting us. It really awesome. - Aldo Seoane

rejectandprotect66 karma

Pres. Obama's delay on the pipeline just stiffens our spine. Transcanada has no route in Nebraska and on June 20th loses their permit in South Dakota because they have failed to get a federal permit. We will win. -jane kleeb

rejectandprotect16 karma

Hi there. This Nancy Allpress of Naper, Nebraska. I can tell you how I feel, because my family is on the proposed route. With regard to the President's decision to delay, whether to approve or disapprove the pipeline is the right one: he really can't make a decision because there's no approved route in Nebraska. So how could the President really make a decision when there's no approved route through Nebraska? I'm very happy with the delay, because it's the right thing.

drake072786 karma

Have you guys secured a communication pipeline with the President yet?

rejectandprotect63 karma

Hi there--we do have a meeting with the White House today. It is not with the President but we are confident he is hearing us. -jane kleeb

MySnakeIsAwesome74 karma

Hi all, thanks for taking the time to do this.

What are the legal grounds that you're using to build a resistance argument to the pipeline, from both tribal and ranger perspectives?

rejectandprotect74 karma

We have invalidated the route in Nebraska using the legal system. The state of Nebraska is trying to get that ruling overturned. You can see more here: http://boldnebraska.org/judge-sides-with-landowners-rules-lb-1161-unconstitutional/ -jane kleeb

gabefair67 karma

How do the tribal members feel about a foreign corporation using eminent domain to take your land?

How much money were they offering you for taking it?

rejectandprotect115 karma

We have not been consulted either by Transcanada or the administration. They cant take our land by eminent domain. They are trying to go through our treaty lands without permission. Our land is protected by treat and by the people. No money has nor will any be accepted. - Aldo Seoane

rejectandprotect87 karma

Tribes and ranchers do not understand why a foreign tarsands corporation can use eminent domain for private gain. What is MOST puzzling is where is the Tea Party and GOP screaming about property rights like they did with Bundy Ranch! -jane kleeb

P00NSLAYER6937 karma


rejectandprotect37 karma

We have had several meetings with various departments here. Some of the departments we have meet with have showed support and a willingness to help. The week is still young and there are many more meeting set. Aldo

BobbyHertz35 karma

Thanks so much for being in DC, camping out on the National Mall, so inspiring. Can you talk a bit about the first nation treaties that would be violated by the construction of Keystone XL? Have these treaties already been violated by existing tar sands pipelines?

rejectandprotect44 karma

There are so many treaties that have been violated. The list is long ... Both the Canadian and American governments have continued to ignore their responsibility to Tribal Communities. This fight is not only about water land and the safety of our people. This is a fight for human rights! We are tired of being treated as second class citizens.

whitlockjones8424 karma

Has President Obama made comments on other treaty violations? What avenues do we have to ask him to address them? And how can we help?

rejectandprotect36 karma

The presidents administrations has not done a good job at addressing the issues. We have taken our tribal resolutions to the Department of Interior and made them aware of our position and of their trust responsibility. President Brewer had a meeting with Attorney Gen. Holder . When we asked him about the presidents position he said no comment . We are very frustrated and demand to be heard! That why we are here and thats why we are visiting with agencies all week. If you want to support go online and make comments to the president. Call the White House and demand to be heard. We are stronger than the pipe line be it by the pen or by the sword we will defend our land people and water! Aldo Seoane

telefawx6 karma

Are you suggesting there is no safe way to implement a pipeline?

rejectandprotect4 karma

I think the more relevant issue is that there are no safe ways to burn fossil fuels that do not diminish the livability of the planet and exact costs to our economy that we are ill prepared to afford.

Kristen Sheeran - Director, Economics for Equity and Environment Network

TigerMom19744 karma

Thank you all so much for being in Washington DC! How are you all feeling today?

rejectandprotect9 karma

Thank you for your support ! We are feeling great ! We are getting some great turn out here in DC- Aldo Seoane Rosebud

rejectandprotect3 karma

I'm Osage, and we have pipelines running across our reservation. They're cutting down trees, bulldozing hills, and putting the pipeline real close to my land, if not on my land. I don't know if it's Keystone but this is a big deal. And the bureau on Indian Affairs has put a stop to it. And of course the people building the pipeline are really pissed off. Some of the land owners are happy but some are not. And they do a lot of hydrolic fracking on our reservation and three years ago we had an earth quake in Pawhuska, OK. And that's the first time anybody can remember anybody having an earthquake in OK. We are worried about the water supply. We want clean water and clean air. I'm all in favor of oil and gas drilling -- on the condition that we keep the mineral rights. We've had the oil industry for years, but we've got to do it responsibly and they are not. Our governor is a shill for the fossil fuel industry and she put a fine on putting solar on their house.

-- Mary Jo Trumbly

gkamer83 karma

Holy Shit I'm in Washington on vacation and I see you right now!

rejectandprotect4 karma

hau kola!! well come on down and enjoy meeting the people standing against this zuzeca sapa/black snake/keystone kxl pipeline. wicahpi ksapa

TigerMom19743 karma

Can you give us some advice on how we can do our part to protect Mother Earth? :)

rejectandprotect2 karma

The first thing is to come from a place of prayer and a place of harmony. We want to maintain a healthy relationship with our grandmother the earth and with all of creation. If we use that understanding to govern our actions and we support our grandmother everything else will follow.- Aldo Seoane RST

rejectandprotect1 karma

You can also join our action by downloading a pdf: http://pipelinefighters.org

Draw or paint your hand, write a letter to the President, then take a pic and tag #nokxl before you send it in the mail! Its all on the http://pipelinefighters.org site! -jane kleeb

rejectandprotect2 karma

i come from the Yankton Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. This is not a red, white, black or brown issue. This is a national issue and if left alone without caution it will soon become a global issue. My personal issue with the KXL Pipeline is that is going to cause millions of gallons of water to become contaminated. Keep in mind that the water that would become contaminated supplies the west coast with fresh drinking water. What is going to take for the nation to realize that water equals life and without it people will die. Only when you can not eat or drink money will people realize that this a problem for the human race. They say that it provides jobs, but the jobs are not permanent and only temporary for the local residents then the pipeline crew moves on to the next area. In closing i ask that you educate yourself and make a educated decision on this issue.

Thank You, J. SongHawk YST

dturnbull2 karma

Hi friends. You guys rock! What's your recommendation for what folks NOT in DC can do to support this weeks' events and push for rejection of Keystone XL? (As for me, I'll see ya on the mall later)

rejectandprotect8 karma

For starters, we thank you for being on horse poop patrol. You know the dirt on Members of Congress oil-soaked money and you don't mind getting your hands dirty for the Cowboy and Indian Alliance. Oil Change is a great place (david works there!) that you can look up your member of Congress money from big oil: http://dirtyenergymoney.com

-jane kleeb

NotFried-1 karma

Heartland Ranchers are a group I am firmly opposed to. Quit taking all the fucking water you dicks!

rejectandprotect1 karma

We are all people of the earth we all deserve the right to clean water clean air and a healthy place for our future generation to inherit. Aldo Seoane

novelty_Poop_Corn-1 karma

Would you rather fight one horse size duck or one hundred duck size horses?

rejectandprotect5 karma

I want to cook the ducks and eat them ! - Aldo Seoane

ranman1124-9 karma

why do you hate jobs and by extension, America?

rejectandprotect4 karma

We love the jobs of farmers and ranchers that are at-risk with a massive pipeline (2 and 3 times the size of American pipelines) that pumps almost 1 million barrels of tarsands and benzene thru our land and water. -jane kleeb