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Pipeline protesters press forward

Ben Gotschall was a panelist at the Lincoln event. He said the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is threatening his family’s way of life.

This week, protesters are making their way to Washington, D.C. to … well … protest.

It’s a call to action over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would cross Nebraska.

There have been reports that it will be the largest act of civil disobedience by environmentalists in decade. More than 2,000 people have pledged to be arrested outside the White House in the two-week stakeout,which is to go through Sept. 3.

Hear from pipeline protester Ben Gotschall:

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Critics are fearful that the pipeline that would run from Alberta Canada to Texas will pollute the expansive Ogallala Aquifer, which it would sit atop. The final environmental impact statement from the State Department comes out tomorrow. And a final decision ultimately will come by the end of the year.

A small taste of the stakeout was presented at the Cultiva Coffee House near downtown Lincoln Neb., on Wednesday. A round-table discussion drew around 50 people, including some from California and Texas, and even Nebraska transplants living in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Many were headed to the White House protest.

The protesters have been staging events like this to garner press. You can hear more about some of these events HERE.

Ben Gotschall, who was raised on a dairy farm in the sand hills of Nebraska’s central Holt County, was a panelist at the Lincoln event. He said the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is threatening his family’s way of life.

“I’m very intimately connected to that landscape, that region,” Gotschall said. “If we had that pollution in our aquifer our business would be over with, our family operation relies on good clean water readily available for us to drink, for our cattle to drink, to sub- irrigate our grass meadows so we have feed for our cattle.”

Gotschall does direct marketing for his parent’s ranch, but he works for progressive group Bold Nebraska.He will be in Washington, D.C. for the stakeout.