A spokesman for TransCanada defends the company for warning law enforcement that the tactics of opponents might well cross the line and that anti-terrorist laws could be used against the most extreme.
TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard accuses some opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline of going too far in their rhetoric.
“The longer this goes on, the more ridiculous some of the claims from opponents of this project become,” Howard tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Howard defends TransCanada’s presentation to Nebraska law enforcement that suggests anti-terrorist laws could be used if opponents get out of hand, should the president issue the permit to build Keystone.
Bold Nebraska, the most vocal opponent of Keystone XL in Nebraska, obtained TransCanada documents from the Nebraska State Patrol through a Freedom of Information Act request. Bold
Nebraska claims it was “alarmed” that TransCanada suggested law enforcement could use “anti-terrorism laws” against protestors during security briefings with the patrol and others.
Bold Nebraska characterizes its protests as peaceful and lawful.
Howard is quick to say extreme measures should be used only against extremists.
“They don’t represent a majority of Nebraskans. They don’t represent the will of the legislature and it’s frustrating when you hear these kinds of ridiculous claims being made,” according to Howard.
Howard says opponents have broken the law during construction of the southern part of the route, from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast. While President Barack Obama has not made a decision on whether TransCanada will be allowed to cross the Canadian-United States border to extend from western Canada to the Gulf Coast in Texas, he has given the go-ahead for the southern portion of the $7 billion pipeline.
Howard claims the opposition has imperiled the safety of construction along the southern route.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]
AUDIO: Kevin Thomas interviews Shawn Howard on Drive Time Lincoln. [16:45]