Green groups plan Nebraska ‘sun-block’

An assortment of anti-oil allies said Thursday they are turning to crowd-funding as a way to raise money for installing solar-power units at key points in Nebraska in an attempt to stop construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The plan comes from Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Indigenous Environmental Network and other organizations one month before the Nebraska Public Service Commission opens its main hearing on the proposed KXL line.

The pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels a day of oil from Alberta tar sands through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska before connecting to the export market.

“The Solar XL campaign will put renewable energy directly in Keystone XL’s path, underscoring the need to center solutions to climate change while resisting the expansion of the fossil fuel industry,” the anti-KXL groups’ joint statement said.

Stephen Kretzmann, executive director for Oil Change International, one of the opponents of the project, described KXL as “yesterday’s pipeline to transport yesterday’s energy” in their news release.

Nebraska officials will decide some time after the August hearing whether to permit the project to cross their state. South Dakota and Montana state officials previously granted permission to the company, TransCanada.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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