Anti-Fossil Fuel Activists Charter Luxurious Buses On Way To Nebraska Protest
National anti-fossil fuel organizations organized deluxe motor coach transportation to bus out-of-state protesters into Lincoln, Nebraska from across the West and Midwest to protest the Keystone XL pipeline on Sunday.
“Hundreds of Nebraskans, along with Water Protectors and Pipeline Fighters from states near and far, will come together in Lincoln on the eve of the week-long Keystone XL intervenor hearings at the Nebraska Public Service Commission,” wrote Bold Nebraska, “and march through the streets to send the message that Keystone XL is a threat to our land, water and climate, and not in the public interest. March with us to give Keystone XL the boot! (emphasis in original).”
The Sierra Club and 350.org, who are also co-sponsors of the protest march, organized the bus transportation for the “March to Give Keystone XL the Boot.” Buses were scheduled to depart from Denver, Colo. (including Wyoming); Wisconsin/Illinois/Iowa; Wichita, Kan.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo.; and South Dakota.
“If you want to come to Nebraska from Colorado for the March to Give KXL the Boot, please book as soon as you can to guarantee a seat!” the group wrote on its Eventbrite page.
“Book as soon as possible, today if you can,” the group urged its followers to ensure full buses. “It’s often impossible to add extra buses at the last minute (we have tried before!) even if we have enough people to fill one.”
Organizers encouraged protesters to bring comfortable clothes and shoes, food and water.
The “56-Passenger Luxury Motorcoaches” chartered from Ramblin Express are powered by Cummins diesel engines, come full of comforts like temperature control, pull-down flat screen TVs, free WiFi, and mood lighting.
In Commerce City, Colo., protesters boarded the bus late Saturday night, carrying with them signs they planned to use at the Sunday march.
Keystone XL’s builder, TransCanada, told Western Wire last week that media reports suggesting the company was backing away from the project were “untrue.”
“[T]he idea that there is a lack of commercial support for this project is simply untrue,” Matthew John, a spokesman for TransCanada, wrote in an email to Western Wire. “We are committed to Keystone XL and we have good support from our core customers. What we’re aiming for in this open season is to secure a significant number of long-term 20-year contracts and we are very confident in our ability to do so.”
Though the company is waiting for approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission, whose proceedings begin this week, the market dynamics in favor of the Keystone XL project remain in place, according to John.
“The fundamental need for Keystone XL: the demand for heavy crude oil in the Gulf Coast has not changed,” wrote John. “The USGC [U.S. Gulf Coast] remains the most attractive market for heavy oil, and Keystone XL remains the safest and most efficient way to supply that market.”