Group Protests Keystone XL

By: Leah Uko

OMAHA (KPTM) - A group stood outside a company in west Omaha Thursday to protest. They want the Keystone Pipeline out of Nebraska and away from their water.

The protesters walked around the TransCanada office near 137th and Fnb Parkway.

At times they sang their message while holding up signs.

"Oh don't you come through the Heartland! The Heartland," one man sang.

They shouted the message also.

"Yes we can! Stop the Pipeline! Yes we can!"

House Speaker John Boehner spoke in favor of the pipeline Thursday.

"Voting for this budget being supporting the Keystone Pipeline--an American made energy," Boehner continued. "Means more jobs and lower energy prices for the American people."

But the protestors urged TransCanada not to bring the Keystone Pipeline into Nebraska.

"TransCanada does not pay oil spill clean up taxes," a woman shouted.

The group of about 30 was made of adults, children and Pat LaMere.

"Without water there is no life. And I believe that the water is healing," she said.

The 59-year-old fears the pipeline will ruin Nebraska's water.

"I drink a lot of water and if I didn't drink that water and drink every other thing that's not good for you like soda and everything else," LaMere explained. "I would probably be taking other kind of medicine. Being a diabetic."

TransCanada's spokesperson, Grady Semmens said the company was aware of the protest and suggested to the majority of its 40 employees in Omaha to work from home.

"We obviously don't agree with the protests and what the protestors are saying about our company and our project," Semmens said. "But we recognize that they have the right to express their views."

Semmens mentioned the company appreciated that the protest was "law abiding and peaceful".

LaMere hoped that approach would help keep the focus of the protest clear.

"Without water there is not life."

The group headed to the Old Mart area later Thursday evening.