Pipeline opponent wants Congressman's apology

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Updated: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 06:58:13 CST

Her battle against the Keystone X–L Pipeline has been making headlines for years and last week it got personal for Bold Nebraska's, Jane Kleeb.

It's a debate spanning 5 years. Will there or won't there be a Keystone X–L Pipeline through Nebraska?

At last week's Committee on Energy and Commerce meeting, Jane Kleeb says she was personally attacked by Congressman Bill Johnson of Ohio.

During testimony the Congressman asked, "Do you hold a graduate degree in any relevant field?"

Before she could respond, he asked again.

"I have a degree in international training and education." Responded Kleeb.

Congressman Johnson continued, "You ever take a chemistry course? You ever take a physics course?"

Kleeb asked the Congressman, "Have you ever worked on a farm or a ranch?"

"Oh, absolutely, I'm a two wheel wagon rutting mule farmer." The Congressman replied.

Kleeb says she feels personally attacked.

"When Representative Johnson started to attack me personally essentially saying that I didn't have the educational background to discuss the pipeline and then he went on to attack my husband, it was a sexist comment. He asked nobody else on that panel about their spouse's employment." Jane Kleeb told News 5.

And now, she wants an apology, not just from Johnson, but from Committee Chair, Lee Terry of Omaha and Billy Long of Missouri, as well.

"It is the job of Representative Terry, being the Chairman of that Committee to make sure that Committee is on track and treating witnesses with respect." Said Kleeb.

But, in a statement released to News 5, a spokesman said Representative Terry won't be apologizing, saying, "Congressman Terry did nothing disrespectful toward Ms. Kleeb or any of the witnesses at the hearing and has no plans to apologize to anyone."

He went on to say that Kleeb should apologize to the "thousands" of people who could otherwise go to work on the project.

Representative Terry is standing up for this project when it means only 35 permanent jobs and 100 short term jobs for Nebraskans." Said Kleeb.

Some lawmakers also argue that Kleeb acted inappropriately during the meeting, speaking out of turn.

News 5 contacted the office of Congressman Bill Johnson from Ohio. They have not yet responded.