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P. O. Box 6603 Lincoln, NE 68506 June 2, 2013
President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, D.C. 20500 Mr. Rex W. Tillerson Exxon Mobil Corporation 5959 Las Colinas Blvd. Irving, Texas 75039 Re: Julia Trigg Crawford - Landowner in Direct, Texas Dear President Obama and Mr. Tillerson, I would like to share what one victim of TransCanada and Keystone XL wrote on Facebook: Julia Trigg Crawford 4 hours ago Most mornings here on the farm begin the same. The sunlight sneaks through my northern-facing window as the dogs begins to stir, signaling the start of the day. As I look out toward the fields, I view a vast sea of crops, a rich contrast of textures and colors. The bearded wheat is turning gold now, just a few days away from harvest. Nearby, lush young corn waves its vibrant green leaves in the wind. Last week we planted soybeans on the dryland corners, and soon a lighter shade of green will join the palette. Up on the hill the old windmill churns as it always has with its groans and squeaks. Just a bunch of rusted metal, but to me it is alive and the gears spin a tune that soothes my soul. These familiar sights and sounds of the farm have become a comfort to me. But my world has changed and a chill of uncertainty looms heavy in the air. Things are very different now as I look to the south across the pasture, and what I witness is crushing. Despite my best efforts, TransCanada's heavy machinery has rolled in, bringing the rumble of a foreign industry to invade my family's farm. The beeping and clanking of metal has begun, gut-wrenching noises that will continue throughout the day. Gaping holes have been dug, leaving mountains of red earth to make way for the monster 36inch diameter blue-green pipe that will become the Keystone XL. I've watched this happen to others along the line, and sadly now it's my turn. With the ripping and tearing of the land my heart feels the same pain, and I search for the answer to the question many of us ask: “What can I do to make this all stop?”
President Obama and Mr. Tillerson June 2, 2013 Page 2 of 3 Three years ago when I moved here to take over as the farm manager, I wasn't looking for a fight. I came to the family farm for the quiet life. I knew nothing about tar sands, eminent domain, or TransCanada. But then the Keystone XL pipeline literally landed in my backyard. Once I learned the facts about what this pipeline really meant for our land, I knew the risks far outweighed the rewards. In the event of a spill, no amount of money could compensate for the loss of the water and land that sustain us. But TransCanada told us we had no choice and condemned our land, so we decided to fight. Little did we know in the tiny community of Direct (with a population of about 70), the stand I decided to take for my family would eventually play out on a national stage. Together look at what we've been able to doIn this oil-rich state, Texans for the first time have had the courage to stand up against not only this pipeline, but also Big Oil and the deep pocketed groups that represent it. Brave folks like Eleanor Fairchild and David Daniel have stood their ground. Thanks to the support of thousands from around the world, we have been able to continue to wage a legal battle against TransCanada. We have exposed the process in Texas that allows a private corporation to steal your land so easily, while our elected officials turn a blind eye. Collectively, we have all held steadfast to our principles. In spite of TransCanada's empty promises of jobs and energy independence, we have created a different dialogue around clean air, water and land, the real building blocks to a sustainable economy. Despite the bravery of those who stood up and said no, TransCanada has been masterful with its money, power, and influence to sway public opinion. Cleverly repackaging the southern leg of the Keystone XL as the Gulf Coast Section, they have skirted a presidential permit and diverted public awareness away from what's happening here in Texas. Contradictory to its self-imposed title as a “trusted neighbor,” TransCanada has attempted to quash opposition, manipulate the system, bully landowners, gag citizens, and mislead the public at every turn. It sickens me to hear our elected officials continue to defend this pipeline. To side with a corporation over the rights of private landowners is to abandon the very people they claim to represent. It's hard not to feel abandoned when the attention has veered away from Texas and toward the decision on the northern leg of the Keystone XL. As I look out my window I'm reminded my fight is here, staring me down every day from just a few hundred yards away. I was told I am the last piece of the puzzle for the pipeline to connect and complete the southern portion of the project. Armed security guards hired by TransCanada sit at the edge of my property, watching both day and night, awaiting the slightest movement that would interfere with the agenda. I feel overcome with a sense of dread, yet if I sit here and do nothing, I can no longer use the word hope. Much like the Alamo, this is my last stand. Yesterday I watched workers weld together massive pieces of pipe and begin laying them in the ground, and it took everything in me not to jump that fence and stand in their way in hopes that would halt the destruction. I knew it would not. Despite my pending appeal, it seems inevitable that my land will soon become part of the Keystone XL. Right now, I feel pretty defeated, beat down, frustrated, and helpless. I feel like I've tried everything. I'm fighting them both in the courtroom with the legal system and in the court of public opinion via the media. What else is there? With seemingly every choice taken from me, what other options do I still have left to fight?
President Obama and Mr. Tillerson June 2, 2013 Page 3 of 3 Of this I am certain, I couldn't have made it this far without the support of many. This land IS my land and I have a duty to defend what I deem as sacred. I know I'm not alone in this thought. Many of you feel the same way I do. As disillusioned, angry, and frustrated as I am, I refuse to give up now at the eleventh hour. We are not done. The fight is still on, but the next steps must be new, bold and brave. Will you stand with me? -Julia Trigg Crawford (June 2, 2013) I support Julia and other landowners and indigenous people in Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, etc. I chained myself to a log skidder last September 19 to protest this construction project in Franklin County. I was arrested and spent 48+ hours in jail.
Barack and Rex, this is my personal appeal to you: Stand up to conventional expectations. Denounce what is being done in the name of the economy, growth, profits, prosperity and energy independence. Acknowledge that we must begin to dismantle the carbon infrastructure and move the investment dollars over to carbon-free innovative and available technologies to begin the shift away from death and destruction to health and life. Jobs and health abound in carbon-free energy technology.
Barack and Rex, admit that pipelines are all about delivering feed stock to hungry refineries which demand to be fed lest they fall below minimum operating capacity. The refineries which have outlived their original economic lives must be retired. Make no more investments there. Let them go idle and dismantle them. Clean up and restore the toxic sites. It’s the end for them. Barack and Rex, if you truly believe that a market-based solution like a gradually increasing carbon fee is the way to send the price signal to industry and induce a shift in investments, then you certainly also realize that the global refining capacity must naturally decline. Rex, it is incumbent upon you to bring your colleagues in the refining industry together and decide which least efficient, least profitable refineries will be the first to be dismantled, now. Barack and Rex, take immediate steps to begin reducing CO2 or you will be found guilty and punished for “ecocide” with blood on your hands. Dismantle carbon infrastructure and unconventional production techniques -- don’t be seen and judged as morally corrupt. You are heading that direction. We must quickly begin to abandon fossil fuels. Fossil fuel expansion is just plain wrong Leave the tarsands in the ground Abandon the Keystone XL Create your legacy!
All we want is . . . Clean energy! Carbon-free! Carbon fee Rebate to me Retire the refineries
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?