The Keystone XL Pipeline has a lot of people talking, especially here in Nebraska. Just this week over 800 people showed up to a public forum on the pipeline in Albion. News 5's Lauren Conley spoke with one of those people Saturday. This guy is doing more than talking about the pipeline.
Ken Ilgunas is walking the 1700 mile long path of the pipeline. It started with a flight over the Alberta Tar Sands.
Ilgunas flew high above the beautiful Boreal Forest. But, as the forest suddenly turned to a wasteland he knew he had a cause for his journey.
"As far as the eye can see, it is an apocalyptic devastated landscape," said Ilgunas.
He says seeing the Tar Sands of Alberta is a game changer.
"All you can really feel is shock and awe," Ilgunas said.
Ilgunas went into this journey opposing the pipeline because of environmental concerns. What he saw in Canada made him feel even stronger. The oil from the Tar Sands is what will flow through the Keystone XL pipeline.
Since that flight, he's been walking. Just walking... along the proposed pipeline path.
"It's easy to criticize things from afar, but I really wanted to come here and understand the issue," said Ilgunas.
The pipeline meeting in Albion brought Ilgunas to Rick Hammond. Hammond has been fighting the pipeline going through his land for the past four years.
"I do not believe that this project is for the US. It's coming from a foreign nation, going to the Gulf Coast, a duty free zone. That oil is going to go to the highest bidder," Hammond said.
The two have found common ground in their hope that this pipeline won't ever make it into the ground.
"I am proud of him for carrying on this mission that we have got to succeed in. We will burn up our planet if we do not stop now," said Hammond.
"We're learning so much more about climate change and it's really discouraging that this project might go through. It's appalling," Ilgunas said.
Ilgunas has a message for the President. He says he'd like to see President Obama strike down the pipeline. You can find out more about Llgunas and his journey on his website at www.kenilgunas.com.