LINCOLN, Neb. – In the run-up to next week’s final public hearings on the Keystone XL Pipeline police in Lincoln are bracing for protests, beginning with a Sunday afternoon march and rally.
Marchers are set to take their case against the pipeline from the state capitol to the Cornhusker Hotel, where the Public Service Commission will hold its week-long hearings starting Monday.
According to a statement from the Lincoln Police Department, LPD is working with “multiple agencies” including the Nebraska State Patrol to keep next week’s events safe and sound. “We will protect the citizen’s right to free speech while those who choose to violate the law will be held accountable for their actions.”
In an interview with News Channel Nebraska longtime pipeline critic Jane Kleeb denounced any potential violence but noted her concerns:
Kleeb: We have heard that some anarchists are thinking about coming to the march that we’re having August 6. We’ve made it clear that we don’t want any violence and disruption happening at that march. We’ve also made it clear we don’t want any disruption or booing or flag waving inside the public service hearing.
NCN: How serious do you take that rumor about anarchists coming to your rally?
Kleeb: I mean look it’s a free country right. Anarchists can go wherever they want to go and the very nature of anarchists would be to not listen to anything that I would say or any public official would say.
The PSC must make a final decision by November 23, but court appeals are expected regardless of the outcome.
In the meantime recent published reports suggest that even if the pipeline is approved, TransCanada may pull the plug due to a lack of oil companies that would pay to use the Canada-to-Texas line.
TransCanada spokesman Matthew John disputes those reports.
“We are incredibly confident that we will have the support to move this project forward and we launched an open season because we believe Keystone XL already has the core support it needs to be successful,” says John.