When 60s iconic rocker Neil Young spoke out on his opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline recently, he found himself banned from the airwaves of a local Canadian FM radio station.
Young held a press conference last week and made controversial comments about Fort McMurray, located in Alberta, as he expressed his “fierce” opposition to plans to transport oil from the area down to Texas.
“The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima,” Young said. “There’s fumes everywhere. You can smell it when you get to town.”
Rock 97.9 host Chris Byrne told the local ABC affiliate that the station has been swamped with complaints about Young’s comments, prompting them to removed the rocker from their playlists.
“Rock listeners are pretty apathetic people. It takes a lot to get their ire up. But based on the number of emails and voice mails that I’ve gotten, I don’t think… a topic… has caused more people to call in or write in than this,” Byrne said.
“Fort McMurray is a wasteland, Young also said, according to the Edmonton Journal. “The Indians up there and the native peoples are dying.”
These comments did not sit well with some residents.
“I’ve lived here nine years. I’ve raised my kids here,” Will Gibson, a spokesman for Syncrude, told the Journal. “It’s a beautiful community.” Syncrude is one of the largest producers of crude oil from Canada’s oil sands.
Gibson went on to say air quality readings in Fort McMurray are better than most metropolitan cities.
In the rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama,” the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd said of criticisms Young leveled against the South in his song “Southern Man”:
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow
Apparently, it’s no longer just southern men that don’t need him around.