TransCanada, the company behind the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, is stirring up trouble in Nebraska as it warns local law enforcement authorities that activists and landowners opposed to the project are a potential security threat. Documents obtained last week byBold Nebraska, a group fighting the pipeline, reveal that the company has been circulating a power point presentation to various state and federal officials, including the FBI, which describes local landowners as “aggressive” and “abusive” and advises local officials on legal strategies for prosecution. Additional documents obtained this week show that Nebraska’s Attorney General’s office has shared confidential information about pipeline security with the Department of Justice. Those documents remain classified.
On April 25 TransCanada held what it called an “educational training opportunity” for local law enforcement authorities and county district attorneys along the proposed pipeline route. According to Deb Collins, a spokesperson for the Nebraska State Patrol, the meeting was initiated by TransCanada but organized and facilitated by the state police. A representative of the Nebraska Information Analysis Center, one of more than 70 Homeland Security “Fusion Centers,” also gave a presentation on what in law enforcement circles is known as “Suspicious Activity Reporting.” In an email statement Collins said it is not uncommon for private corporations to “exchange information with the Nebraska Fusion center on issues related to Homeland Security.” She confirmed that the fusion center provided an overview of “possible unlawful tactics and techniques which law enforcement could encounter by individuals/groups opposed to the Keystone Pipeline.” The report discussed the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance, signed by more than 60,000 people, and referred to pipeline opponents as “environmental extremists.”