Pipeline fighters condemn Nebraska congressman’s mock concert playlist

Deena Winter
Sep 02, 2014 11:26 AM
Pipeline fighters condemn Nebraska congressman’s mock concert playlist

By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

LINCOLN, Neb. — Congressman Lee Terry and oil pipeline fighters are duking it out again, this time over a mock playlist Terry’s people sent out last week to poke fun at the anti-pipeline prairie concert Willie Nelson and Neil Young will play later this month.

AP file photo

Congressman Lee Terry (R)

The ribbing began just a few days after Bold Nebraska announced the crooners would play a Sept. 27 benefit concert near Neligh. Unlike their previous concerts to benefit farmers, this time the Harvest the Hope concert will raise money to fight the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada to Texas.

Days after the concert was announced, the pro-pipeline Consumer Energy Alliance came up with a suggested playlist for the concert that included slightly altered songs such as “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Build Pipelines” and “Keep on Blocking Pipelines in the Free World.”

Then Terry did an encore, publishing a list of his top 10 song requests on BuzzFeed, but noting he’d be unable to attend the concert because he’ll be at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s homecoming game. He requested real songs, with pro-pipeline explanations, such as “On the Road Again,” which he “dedicated to the carbon footprint left by anti-Keystone activists who drive from protest to protest all across the heartland.”

Terry has staunchly defended the pipeline and pushed President Obama to approve it.

Bold Nebraska cried foul because Terry’s playlist was also released by the House Energy & Commerce Committee, on which he is a leader, and posted on Terry’s official Facebook page rather than his campaign page.

Bold Nebraska accused Terry of wasting taxpayer dollars to put together the playlist.

“Hopefully Lee Terry’s newly found song writing career will enable him to pay for his nice house after he gets sent home in November,” Randy Thompson, a rancher and poster child for Bold Nebraska, said in a press release. “If he wants a hit record in Nebraska I would suggest that he title it ‘Take This Pipeline and Shove It’ cause we don’t need you representing our great state anymore.”

Nebraska Watchdog

BOLD: Pipeline fighters are condemning Terry’s latest salvo in support of Keystone XL.

The pipeline fighters said taxpayer money that was spent on the playlist should be reimbursed and Terry should apologize and meet with landowners who have repeatedly requested a meeting.

“Instead of creating silly playlists for a concert that Lee Terry is welcome to attend, he should sit down with Nebraska landowners to hear the real threat of losing their property to foreign corporation TransCanada,” Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, said in a press release.

Terry spokesman Larry Farnsworth acknowledged to Nebraska Watchdog the Energy & Commerce Committee helped with the playlist, which he said “took about 15 minutes to write.”

“Keystone XL is a big issue,” for the committee, Farnsworth said.

The committee’s anti-pipeline post smacked of a recent report by the minority staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works calling Bold Nebraska a faux grassroots group used by non-Nebraska billionaires to funnel money to advance their political agenda.

Bold Nebraska also condemned that report as a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here.