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Thousands of concertgoers and pipeline activists attended the Harvest the Hope concert put on by Bold

Nebraska. Willie Nelson and Neil Young headlined the event held on a western Nebraska farm.
Willie Nelson, Neil Young play to thousands protesting Keystone XL
Nicholas Bergin | Lincoln Journal Star | September 27, 2014 |
NELIGH -- Art and Helen Tanderup gazed with amazed smiles at the thousands of cars parked on the
Douglas Grandt <>
To: Rex Tillerson <>, David Rosenthal <>
Heads up! Harvest the Hope concert: Nebraska is "ground zero"

September 28, 2014 12:31 PM
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NELIGH -- Art and Helen Tanderup gazed with amazed smiles at the thousands of cars parked on the
stubble of their recently harvested cornfield on Saturday, at the stage set up in their rye field and at the
ocean of people standing in front of it.
Its unbelievable. Its absolutely amazing this is happening, said Art just before the start of Harvest the
The sun shone in a sky dotted with white clouds, and nearby corn rustled in a southern breeze on the
160-acre farm near Neligh, as fans waited to hear the concerts headliners, Canadian singer-songwriter
Neil Young and country music star Willie Nelson.
Between performances by opening acts -- Native American hip-hop artist Frank Waln, and Lukas and
Micah Nelson and Promise of the Real (featuring Willie Nelsons sons) -- politicians and activists spoke
to the crowd of about 8,000 about the fight against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The Tanderups are two of about 100 landowners refusing to sign easement agreements with
TransCanada Corp., the company that wants to build the controversial pipeline capable of transporting
840,000 barrels of crude oil per day, mostly from Canadas tar sands region destined for refineries on
the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Fighting the Keystone XL is only a small part of the bigger battle against a changing climate that is
threatening the entire planet, Young said during a press conference before the concert.
Were really just a skirmish on the ground around a disaster that is waiting to happen," he said. "People
are panicking and trying to figure out how to get out of this mess.
Were proud to be here with all of you, whether you agree with us or disagree with us, to have a
discourse about what this is.
Young said America must take up the challenge of reducing carbon emissions and turn to renewable
energy generation.
Stand up and be creative and have ingenuity and come up with solutions so were not just complaining
about problems, were solving them," he said. "That is what America needs to do.
The development of Canadas tar sands is far from inevitable, said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of
programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based environmental advocacy group
sponsoring the event.
Tar sands is not regular oil," she said. "Its dirtier. Its nastier. Its bad for our land and water when it
spills, and it is bad for our climate when it is taken out of the ground. What is happening here in
Nebraska is ground zero."
Brought together by their opposition to the pipeline project, environmentalists, land rights proponents,
farmers, ranchers and Native Americans have revived a coalition dubbed the Cowboy Indian Alliance,
with origins in protests against uranium mining in the 1970s.
Native leaders have pledged to stop the Keystone XL from crossing their sacred ancestral lands.
Rosebud Sioux President Cyril Scott and Oglala Lakota President Bryan Brewer, both from
South Dakota, and tribal leaders from other nations promised their tribal warriors would
physically stop the pipeline.
We are not just going to protest and leave," Brewer said. "Were going to stop it."
After Nelson and Young performed hourlong sets, including classic hits such as Beer for my Horses by
Nelson and Heart of Gold by Young, audience members marched into the Tanderups' field and formed
a human chain across where TransCanada wants to bury a 36-inch-diameter pipe.
Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, declined to speculate on how much money the event would
raise to be split between her organization, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Cowboy
Indian Alliance, as well as small clean-energy projects on farms and tribal lands, such as putting solar
panels on center pivot irrigators.
Maybe more important than the dollars raised, said Ken Winston of the Sierra Club of Nebraska, is the
attention the concert brings to continuing efforts to stop development of a 1,179-mile pipeline from
Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City on the Nebraska-Kansas border.
The fight against the Keystone XL in Nebraska already has garnered national attention, after a
constitutional challenge to a state law approving the route brought the pipelines presidential permitting
process to a halt.
But pipeline-fighters hope the support of two music legends will help spread their message beyond the
nightly news, Winston said.
TransCanada may have the money, he said, but we have the musicians and the poets.
Ticket sales alone should generate about $385,000. Concertgoers paid $50 per person to attend the
show, with the original 7,000 tickets sold out within days of Bold Nebraska announcing the event last
month. An additional 500 tickets issued earlier this month sold out in 10 hours, and 200 more tickets
were sold locally in Antelope County.
Willie Nelson and Neil Young wait as they are introduced to the media before the
Harvest the Hope pipeline protest concert Saturday on a farm near Neligh, Nebr.
Joining them and other performers were Native American tribal leaders.
Willie Nelson, Neil Young lend their talents to Keystone XL fight
Joe Duggan | World-Herald staff writer | September 27,2014 |
NELIGH, Neb. Music legends Willie Nelson and Neil Young delivered Saturday on a promise to
comfort opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline while also pleasing a few project supporters who
ventured into a crowded Nebraska farm field.
A familiar duo in the Farm Aid series of benefit concerts, Nelson and Young teamed up to give a musical
assist to pipeline fighters. They performed just one number together, incorporating a few anti-pipeline
verses into the folk anthem This Land Is Your Land.
That tar-sand oil aint good for drinking, Young sang.
Even those who didnt sing along as the chorus railed against new fossil fuel development and corporate
influence said the concert offered an all-around good vibe.
Mike Nash of Omaha said it was easier for him to overlook politics that he doesnt necessarily agree with
when the politics come from two music icons in such a unique venue.
Love the people here, love the show, everybodys getting along, he said as Nelson strummed the
opening of Mamas, Dont Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.
During a pre-concert press conference, Young said the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline symbolizes
the larger choice that the world faces between fossil fuels and renewable energy. A native of Canada,
Young, 68, urged the United States to take decisive action on climate change.
America has a chance to stand up and lead the world like we used to, Young said to a throng of
reporters covering the event. So were not just standing here complaining about problems, but finding
Jane Kleeb, the lead organizer of the Harvest the Hope concert, said Nelson and Young helped the show
sell 8,000 tickets at $50 each. The proceeds, after roughly $100,000 in expenses are deducted, will
benefit three pipeline opponents: Bold Nebraska, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the
Cowboy and Indian Alliance.
These boots and moccasins are going to stop this pipeline, said Kleeb, executive director of Bold
Nebraska, an environmental advocacy group.
The days events brought together leaders from several of the seven bands of the Great Sioux Nation in
South Dakota and the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma. The proposed path of the pipeline crosses historical
tribal lands in South Dakota as well as the Ponca Trail of Tears in Nebraska, the path the Ponca people
following during their forced march to Oklahomas Indian Territory.
Nelson, 81, suggested his participation in the event was motivated by his longstanding advocacy for
farmers and his admiration for Native American people.
Were here for the farmers and ranchers, the cowboys and Indians, he said. And weve always been
there. Thank you for coming out to help us help them.
Sunny skies and a strong southerly breeze settled over the day as thousands made their way down a
gravel road north of Neligh to the concert site in a farm field.
Art and Helen Tanderup, whose 160-acre farm lies on the path of the pipeline, hosted the event. The
Tanderups are among roughly 100 Nebraska landowners who have refused to sign easement agreements
with pipeline company TransCanada Corp. About 400 other Nebraska landowners have signed
For six years, TransCanada has been seeking approval from the U.S. State Department to build a 36-
inch-wide pipeline that would carry 830,000 barrels a day of mostly heavy Canadian oil to refineries on
the Gulf Coast. The southern part of the project is done, so now the company wants to build a 1,200-
mile stretch between western Canadas oil sands region to Steele City, Nebraska.
President Barack Obama must approve the project because it crosses international borders. His
administration has put the project on hold while the Nebraska Supreme Court reviews the legality of the
state law used to route the pipeline. The court is not expected to issue an opinion until after Novembers
Pipeline supporters say it will provide well-paying construction jobs as it is built and property tax
revenues to counties along the projects path. And they say it will reduce Americas reliance on offshore
oil by tapping into Canadas vast oil reserves.
Opponents argue that a major spill would contaminate water in the continents largest
underground aquifer and devastate private property. They also say mining and burning
the heavy Canadian oil, known as bitumen, adds significantly to the greenhouse gases
affecting global climate change.
I think jobs are fine, but jobs are temporary. The environment is permanent, said Susie Chandler, 66,
a rancher who drove to Neligh from her home near the western Nebraska village of Keystone.
Michael Whatley of the pro-pipeline Consumer Energy Alliance said last week that Nelson and Young
are hurting farmers with opposition to Keystone XL. Whatley said the transportation of oil by trains
oil that could be moved instead by the pipeline contributes to rail congestion and blocks farmers from
getting crops to market.
During the roughly 30-minute session with reporters before the show, Young and Nelson did not
address the criticism.
Robert Johnston, an Antelope County landowner whose property also is crossed by the pipeline, said he
backs the project. He said his support is tied to his use of petroleum products on his corn, soybean and
alfalfa farm and the property tax benefits that the county would receive if the project were built.
Johnston didnt plan to attend the show, but when his combine broke down while harvesting soybeans,
he decided to head down to the Tanderup farm.
I think its great, really, he said. What the heck. Its just another example of the economic activity
TransCanada has brought to Antelope County.
The Tanderups harvested a good portion of their corn early to provide space for the concert and parking.
Crews erected a stage in the corner of a plot of oats, and a stand of towering cottonwoods provided a
sweeping backdrop for the stage and a jumbo screen.
Out in the field, people sat in bag chairs and on blankets. Some concertgoers sported cowboy hats, while
others wore eagle feathers. Some danced in flip-flops while people next to them scooted in knee-high
cowboy boots with jeans tucked inside. The audience ranged from infants to grandparents.
Performers such as Frank Waln, a Sicangu Lakota hip-hop artist from Rosebud, South Dakota, and
Lukas and Micah Nelson, sons of Willie Nelson, warmed up the crowd.
Willie Nelson then took the stage and ran through most of his popular titles, such as On the Road
Again and You Are Always on My Mind. He played for about 45 minutes.
Youngs set, which extended beyond an hour, included the well-known Heart of Gold and a new
version of Whos Gonna Stand Up, which he wrote about the Keystone XL pipeline.
With his guitar in hand and harmonica around his neck, Young urged Nebraskans not to give up. This
is never going to end, until we get it right.
Re-energize with clean carbon-free fuels for life!
Re-invent ExxonMobil as an energy company, be more than an oil & gas company.
Re-direct capital investments from carbon-based infrastructure to carbon-free infrastructure.
Announce a retirement schedule for your refineries let the end-game begin.
Your "leadership by example would usher in a new era...."
Please meet me for coffee Let's talk about the urgency and deadline to protect all life from:
Extreme weather - Increasing death/damage from more heat waves, high winds & high water.
Hunger and thirst - Increasing drought/famine from natural & anthropogenic water shortages.
Disease and pestilence - Harmful critters, parasites and bacteria are already on the move.
Social unrest and economic upheaval - We have seen precursors worse is yet to come.