Keystone XL Pipeline

Our Historic Fight Against the Keystone XL Pipeline

Throughout the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline fight, Nebraskans spoke up and took action to help stop the proposed tar sands export pipeline from TransCanada and TC Energy.


Why we fought Keystone XL

The Keystone XL pipeline was a risky, foreign-owned, export pipeline that was using eminent domain to take land away from Americans all while trampling on the sovereignty of Tribal Nations.

The KXL pipeline was abad idea for Nebraska, our land, our water and our economic activity. We didn’t want to see it built. Instead, we wanted to see investments in American-made energy that did not put communities at-risk and instead put them at the decision making table to be part of the wealth creation.

When we took on the KXL pipelines, there were limited regulations. An Emergency Response Plan for the heavier and riskier tar sands oil did not exist. Nebraska did not have a state agency to even review the route of an oil pipeline., We wanted — and still want — stronger eminent domain laws and financial responsibility for any future pipelines.

When we started this fight, Nebraska had NO regulations and no state agency to govern oil pipelines. That all changed.

Taking the fight to communities nationwide

Local activists in communities across the country can utilize the lessons we learned as a resource and inspiration to create actions in their own fights similar to what helped us in Nebraska achieve a historic victory over Big Oil, where the Keystone XL pipeline was rejected twice. There is a lot of information to share about the fight that some of us faced daily for almost twelve years.

All levels of local government have the ability to enact laws that require proper routing and siting of pipelines, processes on abandonment of the pipeline, emergency and spill response plans, bonding of road use and other insurance issues, liability of spills and regulation of neighboring land uses.

Instead of continuing to subsidize fossil fuels and line the pockets of Big Oil and Gas — and worsening the impacts we’re already seeing from carbon emissions and climate change — Bold wants to see investments in clean, American-made renewable energy. We need to enact stronger protections for our land, water and citizens at all levels of government.

What’s next?

For Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana, the Keystone XL pipeline was the first pipeline that President Joe Biden rejected. The Keystone XL pipeline should not be the last.

President Biden boldly rejected the Keystone XL pipeline within a few hours of his inauguration. That was a testament to the unlikely alliance of farmers, ranchers, Tribal Nations and climate advocates that stood together for over a decade.

At Bold, we now stand with our friends across the country that are still battling pipelines approved under Trump without any regards to their lives, the land, the water or climate.

We will continue to fight. We will continue to be BOLD.




6 Years of Fighting KXL

Standing Bold Interviews

Cowboy & Indian Alliance: People’s Climate March

Hands Across the Land

Reject & Protect Rally

NoKXL Hay Bale Portraits

State Department KXL Hearing



  • Keystone XL

    Research papers and action ideas from our six-year pipeline fight:

    View Webpage
  • The Nebraska Easement Action Team

    An allied group during the KXL fight that organized landowners into a legal group, the archived website has great information:

    View Website
  • Domina Law Group

    provides an overview on the legal issues and challenges of TransCanada exerting powers of eminent domain to take U.S. citizens’ land, including links to all the lawsuits filed during the KXL fight and a legislative memo on what states can do to regulate oil pipelines:

    View Webpage
  • The Pipeline Safety Trust

    A nation citizen group that pushes for safer pipelines, they have a Landowners Guide and an annual conference:

    View Website
  • Standing Bold

    Bold Nebraska interviewed many of the landowners who joined with the Nebraska Easement Action Team to collectively battle eminent domain claims against their land for Keystone XL, about their experiences with TransCanada and during the years-long court battle they fought (and continue to fight!). An excerpt from the documentary film project is below.

    View Excerpt