Changing Planet

Video: Ranchers Who Opposed the Keystone XL Pipeline Path

In the Journey OnEarth film series for the National Resources Defense Council and OnEarth magazine, NG Emerging Explorer Roshini Thinakaran reports about the people most directly impacted by pollution, oil spills, and toxic chemicals, and communities coping with climate change across the U.S.

NG Emerging Explorer, filmmaker Roshini Thinakaran. Photo by Mark Thiessen.

With this week’s news that the Obama administration has formally rejected the current proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline, this latest installment in the Journey OnEarth film series becomes particularly timely.

In this new video, Roshini Thinakaran meets ranchers from Nebraska who have helped lead the charge to keep the oil pipeline from being constructed in the Sandhills region, where leaks could contaminate the Ogallala Aquifer that provides freshwater to millions of people, cattle, and wild animals in the region.


Learn More

Pictures: Animals That Blocked Keystone XL Pipeline Path

Pictures: Satellite Views of Canada’s Oil Sands Over Time

“The Canadian Oil Boom” From the March 2009 National Geographic Magazine

NG Emerging Explorer: Roshini Thinakaran

Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. He is currently beginning a new role as communications director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish.Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010.He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history.

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media