Pipeline Monologue Project - Zoe Schwingel-Sauer & Mali Fenning

Part 1: In our world history class these past few weeks we have been learning about the Keystone Pipeline. We have explored the pros and cons both economic and environmental. We spent a good chunk of this unit looking at the opinions on the pipeline. Come project time we created monologues that took a stance on the pipeline or climate. 

Part 2: 
1. The proposed pipeline is 1,179 miles long. (keystone-xl.com)
2. The U.S. consumes 15 million barrels a day. 60% of that oil is imported from other countries. (350.org)
3. The U.S. imports 2.4 million barrels from Canada daily. (350.org)
4. $7 billion proposed pipeline. (keystone-xl.com)
5. September 19, 2008 is when TransCanada first submitted the proposal. (350.org)

Part 3: 

Ben Saunders(Zoe)

(Pacing back and forth in living room/pulling hair looking stressed/squeezing stress ball)

“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. This could be such a good opportunity but it’s not officially going to happen, yet. Being an assistant for the editor of a newspaper isn’t as glamorous as it might appear. All I do is fetch coffee, copy papers, and answer phone calls. I’m dying in my cubicle every day. I need to get out. I’m trapped and I need to get out. Ever since Kate died nothing’s been the same. She used to make me happy about my job….used to meaning past. I find no joy in what I do now. What would my boss think...Quitting my job as his personal assistant for working on a job that isn’t even secured--what a joke! Ughh. It would be much better pay though. I could pay all of my rent and still have leftovers, wait no daughters, daughters, daughters! How could I forget?! My sole reason for getting a new job is for my girls. Always my girls. Pipeline, right! Think about pros. The biggest one in my mind is keeping oil dependency away from the Middle East. God I hate the Middle East. All Kate ever tried to do was help those people and what happens?!! She ends up never returning home. Right. Moving on. Other pros.  Umm the pay? Well of course that’s a pro geesh. Us Nebraskans would majorly benefit from increased tax revenue. But what about being away from my girls...could I manage? No that’s selfish; would they be okay?  Nannies. I should look into that. The contract for the pipeline is in my bedroom. I miss Kate. She would know what to say. (Pause squeezing stress balls really hard) Why is this even called a stress ball? Is it supposed to relieve it because it sure isn’t helping. It probably induces it. I would go out and buy a different stress toy but this is Nebraska so I highly doubt I’ll find one at the corner store. Uh so uh right the contract. I’ve heard it is bad for the environment? Well erm it’s going to create jobs--jobs that I so desperately need. The environment isn’t the most important thing to consider it’s the people! And the people need jobs. (Pause, in deep thought) I’m going to do it! It’s the right thing for my family! Obama won’t be able to say no to the proposal….it’s for the good of the people afterall, right? Yes, right! I’ll call Roger and quit right away and sign the contract. It’s a done deal. My girls will be so happy. Happy.”

Joannah Luns(Zoe)

(Driving in police car to protest; to contain protesters...excited...talking to partner Rachel)

“Joannah Luns Saves Community from Rowdy Protesters! Tomorrow’s headline I tell ya. Good cop saves the day. Okay so maybe not that exact wording, but how awesome would that be if it actually happened?! Oh come on Rachel don’t act like you don’t want to be in the newspaper as well. No I never said that. I don’t want this job for the attention….I just think it would be nice that’s all. Whatever. You can be pissy all you want. Let’s get out now and go help out.

(Walks to protesting group)

Okay everyone I’m going to need you to listen up. We need to keep this protest calm and violence free. Now I can only do this with your help so I would appreciate cooperation. No need for that language sir. I care about the safety of the people at this moment. Uhhm uhh yeah I mean of course I know about the pipeline; who doesn’t?! Oh you want me to tell you about it? Well you see I really don’t think I’m the right gal for ya! Lemme find you Rachel! RACHEL! No there’s not a problem I just wanted you to help me out over here….Sorry for yelling but you know that’s the only way I could get your attention.

(A man starts talking about pipeline)

You want to talk? Umm I suppose I could sir. Yeah okay just a second. Go on now! Uhh well no sir I didn’t know that. Or that. Um wow 1,179 miles yeah that’s quite a lot. There’s not much I can do sir. $7 billion?!! Sorry sir. Well I-I-I-I’ll try my best sir.

(Walks over to Rachel)

Rach did you hear the man? Well he did mention that tar sands is up to 19% more greenhouse gas intensive than conventional fuel and that it’s nearly impossible to clean up! No I didn’t go soft! I just uh had an emphimy? Well you go listen to them and try to not be affected! 1.5 million people could be affected if there’s a spill Rach. That’s a whole lot of people. No I’m not trying to save the world….but there’s no harm in trying….right? Well okay be a debbie downer. Uh sir? Yeah you. Well if it’s okay with you I’ll sign the petition thingy you’ve got there. Yes the one about preventing the pipeline, what other one would I be talking about? Sorry that was a little snappy. Can I try to get the entire station to sign?...that’s a pretty big task. No worries I’ll still give it ago. You have a good day, too sir. Good luck!”

Native American Man(Mali)

(Sits with his family outside at a picnic table talking with his family when his son mentions the Keystone XL pipeline)

“Well Ryan the government will never end their constant picking on the oppressed, repressed or depressed. Yes we are certainly the oppressed. No one cares about the Natives they never have and they probably never will. You don’t think we are the oppressed? Well then tell me why the government wants to build a pipeline through our land? We cannot turn the other cheek any longer; we must act. We are just as American, no even more American than any of those white folks. And these white men want to dig in our land and destroy it for what... oil.” (son starts to speak but he cuts her off) “No son, the only way to get tar sands oil is by destroying our land... our earth. And for some reason our president is not understanding that and that my family is why we have to take a stand. I would walk and march for days if it meant that my ancestors land would not be destroyed. (louder and angry) And I refuse for any more of our ancestors land that they natured and lived on to be striped away from them.” “ Because family look to your left, look at that fresh water flowing in that creek. (points to left) That water would no longer be the pure water we swim in in the summer. It would be the tar sands water.  (sad but still has passion in his voice) And I can’t... I just cannot deal with that. After today, I will be going to Washington D.C. and I will be one of those thousands protesting and risking arrest.” (answers to wife) “Yes I know it is dangerous –– but I won’t be there alone. There are thousands of people that feel the same way I do. The same way we do, and the president has to listen to his people. Because the last time I checked this is America, which is apparently the home of the brave.  Our history as Indians is traditional and conservative; I will not fight the government, but I will stand for I believe in. And I hope family you will join me.”

Sasha Obama(Mali)

(Walks into lobby and starts to talk to her father’s secretary Anita Decker)

“Hey Ms. Anita.” “Oh what? No nothing nothings wrong. Just a long day thats all. I mean you know how school is.” (hoping to dodge the question) “You don’t know how school is? Well didn’t you go when you were a kid? I mean your experience probably wasn’t that much different from mine. I mean just because my dad is… well you know who he is... doesn’t mean my school experience is somehow magically and crazily different from yours.” “ But anyway thats not important. I had a great history class today. It was quite controversial actually. It was about those pipelines. . .You know, Keystone XL its called I think. Have you ever heard of it? ”  “Yeah I know he talks about them a lot; that’s why I was thinking of talking to him” “Well you know they can be quite detrimental to the environment, and climate change, did you know it is predicted to spill every seven years and ––” (talking faster and a little louder) “Well actually predictions do mean something. Predictions could show life or death. I mean all those people that stood in front of this house. Did you know there was 1253? That’s 1253 people that believe those predictions Anita, and thats a lot of people. Don’t you think?” “And I think those people are right and I think those people are brave!” “And Ms. Anita, didn’t you know that the pipeline would probably kill more jobs than make jobs?” “Where did I learn this? Well my history teacher and and the Internet. You know theres a lot of environmental websites out there and they are really great actually!” (quieter)“ Well yeah, I know its all up to my father. But – Yes Ms. Anita I know he has a lot of thinking to do. Yes Yes I know I’m young, but that doesn’t mean I can’t understand.” “Do you know when he will be finished with meeting?” “Soon... ok.. I’ll just tell him exactly what I just told you and he’ll understand right?” “I think he will.” (The presidents office door opens) “Oh hi Daddy.”

William Peterson(Mali & Zoe)

(Grandfather sits in living room in a large chair staring at a old picture of his grandson/talking to grandson)

“Yes Rob I realize how much this matters to you. I get that you’re into all this environmental stuff. Yes stuff I don’t know all the tree hugging activities you do. Yes it is Rob. I mean it’s true….Well I don’t know what else you want me to call you. Oh you want me to call you an environmentalist hunh? Well thats just too long and I mean what even is that anyway, Robby? Uh-huh ok. Yup sure. Just listen, I’m trying to sympathize with you but it’s pretty much impossible! You’re only thinking of yourself. It’s not that I don’t want to understand, it’s just that I can’t. The benefits of this pipeline would majorly outweigh the cons. Our economy would vastly improve but I guess you wouldn’t know that because you majored in environmental-whatever. The pipeline won’t leak and damage waterways Rob. This is a safe way to go about it. It is the RIGHT way to go about it. Our family has been involved with oil drilling companies for generations! Sorry if I find it a little hard to understand why you’ve suddenly changed. Oh come on now, it was suddenly! Last I remember you couldn’t stop talking about how much fun drilling oil will be. Yes you got a degree in environmentalism, but you also wasted tons and tons of money Rob! The job that has been in our family for years doesn’t make you lose money; you GAIN money. Do you even have a job? Being a leader of protests is not what I meant and you know it. What did I mean?!! Are you serious??!! I meant a PAYING job! One where you have a steady income to support your family! Or did you forget all about your wife and son? Emily cannot support your entire family, that’s just not right. Rob you wanna know what I’m looking at right now? Yup thats right, the picture when we visited the White House together when you were only five. What happened to that little boy Rob? Oh you grew up? Well thats not what I’m seeing lately. I miss the old Rob. I gotta go. I’ll talk to ya later bud… (hangs up phone and puts picture back on mantel. Rest his head in the palms of his hands)