The Norman Transcript

Local news

March 25, 2013

Event raises awareness about effect of pipeline projects

NORMAN — With cold weather and chilling wind on Sunday, a group of about 40 people braved the weather to attend a benefit concert in Andrews Park to raise awareness about the potential ill effects of pipelines.

Several speakers addressed a variety of topics concerning the Keystone XL Pipeline and other pipeline projects, as well as the effects they have on the earth and those who inhabit it.

Academy Award winning singer-songwriter and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie also performed Sunday and spoke about the issue.

“We’re all here because of the environment,” she said.

Signs taped around the amphitheater at Andrews Park included phrases like “Our water. Our life” and “Tar Sands threatens Oklahoma’s drinking water.”

Sainte-Marie said companies are exploiting rivers and lakes. Due to the history of pipelines leaking, water sources could be compromised if or when a leak occurs.

Sainte-Marie also sang a song called “No No Keshagesh.” “Keshagesh” is a Canadian term meaning “greedy guts.” She said it’s what you call a little puppy who eats his own and then wants everybody else’s.

Sainte-Marie said the song is about environmental greed.

“Take care of your link with life,” she said, regarding Mother Nature.

The activist said Mother Nature is only here “by the skin of her teeth” and “money doesn’t make the world go round,” referring to profits companies are making from projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The keynote speaker for the day was supposed to be Jim Hightower, an acclaimed nationally syndicated columnist, author and former Texas ag commissioner, but he was unable to attend.

Speakers on the list included a survivor of the 2010 ruptured tar sands pipeline in Michigan, Earl Hatley, an Oklahoma Native American and Grand Riverkeeper, several people from Texas including ranchers and those with pipeline information, an activist from Nebraska, and attorneys from Oklahoma and Texas.

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