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2016 U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaking at a town meeting. (Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr)
2016 U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaking at a town meeting. (Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Sanders’ grassroots campaign talks energy, Bakken pipeline in Iowa

In a crowded Ericson Library in Boone, Bernie Sanders’ grassroots campaign met with the public to show its support of the Democratic presidential candidate, and rally support against the Bakken pipeline.

U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said Sanders is the right person to help them keep their land and bring more assistance in the future.

“We’re picking the Iowa farmer,” Ellison said. “Farming’s a business. Farming’s a serious business, and if your steel wrecks a farmer’s land, you’ve ruined that person’s business and their livelihood.”

The proposed construction of a crude oil pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois has spawned a contentious debate in the 18 Iowa counties it would cross, including Boone and Story counties. Opponents raise concerns about the environmental impact of its construction and the potential for a spill, and the possible use of eminent domain to obtain property for its construction. Supporters tout the economic benefit of the project, both in jobs and tax revenue for the state.

Related: Sanders speaks against Bakken pipeline through Iowa.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, is one of three major candidates seeking his party’s presidential nomination. He has consistently come in second in most polls, well behind Hillary Clinton and ahead of former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Carolyn Raffensperger and Ahna Kruzic stood next to Ellison during Tuesday’s event. Comments from each was met with boisterous support from the capacity crowd, many of whom were decked out in “Bernie for President” and “Stop the Pipe” T-shirts.

Raffensperger has been the leading voice in the legislative front opposing the pipeline, while Kruzic, a grad-student at Iowa State University, has been going door to door to gather thoughts and opinions from those most affected by the pipeline.

“That’s not a pipeline to the future. That’s a pipeline to the past,” said Ellison. “The way we’re going to power this earth is coming right out of that bright sky and the wind that whistles around our ears all day long.”

Ellison, a frequent visitor to Iowa, said he plans to help wherever Sanders and his campaign needs him. Ellison has been involved in the campaign in Iowa and Minnesota, along with some events in Washington D.C., but said he also hopes to travel to South Carolina before the end of the campaign.

This article was written by matthew dewitt from Ames Tribune, Iowa and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.