Rural Activists Gather in a Corn Field to Fight the Keystone Pipeline

In August, we heard BOLD Nebraska and the Cowboy Indian Alliance were set to host a concert with Willie Nelson and Neil Young in a corn field near Neligh, NE. Wait, what? Willie Nelson and Neil Young playing in a cornfield in our home state? Yes! (They had us at hello.)
You can’t deny the appeal of seeing Willie and Neil perform live, especially in a corn field. But they agreed to do the concert to support rural people in their fight against the Keystone XL pipeline. That's even more appealing.
People oppose the pipeline for varied reasons - property rights, water quality and pollution, and climate change. Willie Nelson was there to “stand with the family farmers fighting for their land, livelihood, and community.”
Neil Young opposes the pipeline out of his concerns for fighting climate change. He said, “For our grandchildren’s survival we must begin to live differently.”
Hosts of the concert, Art and Helen Tanderup, know we never really own the land; we borrow it from future generations. They say we must fight the Keystone XL pipeline so we can continue to preserve the land and water.
The Center for Rural Affairs opposed the Keystone XL pipeline for the same reasons. Our core values guide our work and the positions we take. Our value of stewardship of the natural environment upon which all of us - current and future generations - rely, compelled our board of directors and staff to oppose the pipeline.
At the end of the day, do you know the greatest message in this pipeline battle? Everyday rural people are making THE difference! They come together, guided by conscience and working across different backgrounds and points of view, to secure a positive forward-looking future for their families and communities. In our view, those are values worth action.

Feature image: Photo courtesy of Jeff Pantukhoff/ Bold Nebraska