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Keystone opponents build solar panel on pipeline's route

First solar panel put up by 'Bold Nebraska' in Polk County (NTV News).

With a little over a week until the Nebraska Public Service Commission's final hearing on the Keystone XL Pipeline, opponents are transferring their energy into building solar panels in the proposed pathway of the pipeline.

Bold Nebraska is an organization that actively resists the Keystone pipeline. They made a statement to Trans-Canada by building a solar panel in the pathway of the Keystone pipeline on Saturday

Jane Kleeb, founder of Bold Nebraska, said they've raised over $40,000 online for their Solar XL Project and said they're turning their words into action.

"We're not just out in the streets protesting with signs, but we're actually building the type of energy we want to see," Kleeb said.

"With the threat of Keystone XL destroying our water and taking away property rights from farmers, we decided to build solar, directly inside the route where the Keystone XL is proposed to go because the contract says you can't have anything permanent in the route, so we are building permanent clean energy."

Polk County farmer, Jim Carlson, is the first to install a solar panel and said he turned down $250,000 from the Trans-Canada Corporation.

"It's all I ever lived for-all that I want to live for,” Carlson said.

He said his farm has been in his family for the last century and potential oil leaks from the pipeline will not only be threatening his land, but the quality of life for others.

Carlson said, although pro-pipeliners say leaks are minimal, it can have lasting effects.

"Less than a tenth of a percent maybe, of oil that doesn't make it there-well that tenth of a present is a lot of oil- a lot of oil. Every year that pipeline is in the ground, it's going to be weaker and more prone to a leak," Carlson said.

When NTV caught up with Terry Cunha, a Trans-Canada Representative at the York KXL Pipeline hearing, he said they have listened, weighed all of their options, and believe it’s as safe as possible.

"Making sure we're working with these groups to continue to address their issues and their needs and try to find a solution to their issues, but we believe after 7 years of review that we've worked diligently to listen to Nebraskans," Cunha said.

Carlson said the solar panel installed on his land is American made.

The next Public Service Commission's hearing will be held in Lincoln on Aug. 7.

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