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Willie Nelson and Neil Young to Stage Musical Protest Against Keystone XL Pipeline

Willie Nelson, left, and Neil Young are not fans of the Keystone XL pipeline. Shutterstock
Donald Kaufman
Correspondent
Donald Kaufman is an L.A.-based producer, composer and mix engineer. He is also the songwriter and frontman of the band Visceral Design. After graduating from Berklee College of Music, Kaufman began…
Donald Kaufman


Singing legends Willie Nelson and Neil Young will be putting on a show on a family farm in Nebraska on Sept. 27.

Young and Nelson’s motives are political as well as musical, as their duet in Nebraska will double as a protest against the proposed crude oil pipeline Keystone XL, which would transport oil from the south of Canada to the Gulf Coast, the Omaha World-Herald reported Monday:

The proposed pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of mostly Canadian oil sands crude daily through Nebraska and on to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Because it would cross international borders, the project requires approval from President Barack Obama.

The president has said he is awaiting the Nebraska Supreme Court’s review of a lower court decision that struck down the state law used to route the pipeline. The high court will hear oral arguments in the case Sept. 5. Judges are not expected to release an opinion until late in the year.

Public opinion polls have consistently shown a majority of Americans support the project, which also has strong backing from the petroleum industry and some labor groups. Opponents say the pipeline represents a pollution threat to soil and water and will worsen climate change by speeding development of Canada’s vast oil sands region.

Young, a 68-year-old Canadian, has helped Indian nations in his home country mount a legal fight against oil development. He also joined protesters last spring at a Washington, D.C., event that included the Cowboy and Indian Alliance, a group of farmers, ranchers and tribal representatives that opposes the pipeline.

Tickets for the Sept. 27 showdown will start selling on Wednesday, with proceeds going to Bold Nebraska, the Cowboy and Indian Alliance and the Indigenous Environmental Network.

— Posted by Donald Kaufman

Below is a video of Young and Nelson playing Young’s “Heart of Gold” at a Farm Aid concert in 1995:

Here is the duo, along with Crazy Horse, performing a cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” at a 1994 Farm Aid event:

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