Archive for Friday, April 20, 2012

New proposed Keystone XL pipeline route unveiled

April 20, 2012


LINCOLN, NEB. — Officials unveiled a new preferred route Thursday for the Nebraska portion of the stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline that avoids the state’s groundwater-rich Sandhills region.

The proposed route would veer east around the Sandhills before looping back to the original route. Developer TransCanada has said the reroute adds about 100 miles to the original 1,700-mile project that would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

The company submitted the proposal after Gov. Dave Heineman allowed state officials to proceed with an environmental review. The review stalled in January when the Obama administration rejected a federal permit for the pipeline. Administration officials said they didn’t have time to review the project before a congressional deadline and cited uncertainty about the Nebraska route.

The full $7 billion pipeline would travel from Canada through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. TransCanada wants to build the 36-inch pipeline to carry oil from tar sands in Alberta to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Nebraska became a pivotal battleground for the project last year, pitting environmentalists and some landowners against unions and the oil industry. Heineman called a special session to address concerns over the pipeline’s proposed path, and TransCanada executive eventually agreed to route the pipeline away from Nebraska’s groundwater-rich Sandhills.

Nebraska lawmakers passed a bill earlier this month authorizing the state Department of Environmental Quality to review possible routes through the state and hold at least one public hearing on its evaluation. Its findings would then be added to a federal environmental review, if the company reapplies for a project permit.

Environmentalists say the pipeline still threatens Nebraska’s water and wildlife, and they dispute company claims that it will create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs and reduce the nation’s dependence on oil from hostile foreign nations.

The review is expected to cost as much as $2 million. The state has spent roughly $153,000 since November but stopped the analysis after the permit was denied.

Jane Kleeb, executive director of the group Bold Nebraska, said the proposed corridors still cross the Sandhills and the Ogallala aquifer, a groundwater supply that lies beneath Nebraska and parts of seven other states.

“All of the routes are unacceptable and show once again we cannot trust TransCanada,” Kleeb said.

TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said the new corridor proposals avoid the Sandhills, as they were identified by the state.

“Once again, this process is back in the hands of Nebraskans, who overwhelmingly support the safe construction and operation of this critical North American energy infrastructure project,” he said.

Opponents say the project should be reviewed by the state’s Public Service Commission, an independently elected group that regulates utilities.


pace 6 years, 1 month ago

How transporting oil through a pipe will create that many jobs seems odd. If they do it, I hope they don't destroy the ground water for generations. Now that would hurt.

Michael LoBurgio 6 years, 1 month ago

Key Facts on Keystone XL 5 Reasons Keystone XL Pipeline is a Bad Idea

  1. It will spill. The State Department’s review of the project clearly says Keystone XL will spill oil. Not may, but will. The existing Keystone pipeline has already leaked 14 times since it began operating in June 2010, including one leak that dumped 21,000 gallons of tar-sands crude. Keystone XL would carry up to 35 million gallons of oil every day — so any leak has the potential to be massive.

  2. It won’t be a major job producer. The State Department estimates that Keystone XL will result in only 20 permanent, operational jobs in the U.S and 2,500 to 4,650 temporary jobs. What’s more, after Keystone XL oil makes it to Texas, much of it will be exported beyond U.S. borders without paying U.S. taxes – never benefitting our economy or slacking our thirst for oil.

  3. It will threaten vast pristine landscapes, rivers and wildlife. Running between Alberta, Canada and the Gulf Coast of Texas, Keystone XL will cross nearly 1,750 water bodies, like rivers and steams, and risk contaminating the Ogallala Aquifer (the drinking water source for millions of people). It would also cut through the heart of prime wildlife habitat, including homes for at least 20 imperiled species.

  4. It will expand the destruction of Canada’s boreal forests. Tar sands oil is the dirtiest oil on Earth. Producing oil from sand has terrible impacts on the environment, including the destruction of tens of thousands of acres of boreal forest, pollution of hundreds of millions of gallons of water — each barrel of oil from tar sands requires three barrels of water to produce.

  5. It will dramatically deepen our addiction to climate-killing fossil fuels. Greenhouse gas emissions from tar-sands development are two to three times higher than those from conventional oil and gas operations. That’s exactly the wrong direction for reversing global warming. Scientists tell us we must reduce atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million or less. Today, it’s 391 ppm, and Keystone XL would certainly drive that up and worsen the devastating effects of global warming — from rising oceans to melting glaciers to extreme and dangerous weather events – that we’re already seeing around the world.

Simply put, it’s not in our interest to court oil spills, worsen climate change and jeopardize rivers, streams, drinking water, people and wildlife. It’s time to tell Congress to stand up to Big Oil and Gas and reject Keystone XL, permanently.

Read more:

Sharon Nottingham 6 years, 1 month ago

I oppose the pipeline. Politicians are going to figure out a way for it to get built because it is all about the mighty buck, right?! How short-sighted not to see the tragedy that could unfold if there is a leak that affects ground water, livestock, food sources, health, destruction of rich soil. But by God, there will be jobs and less dependency on foreign oil. What a load of muck the public is being fed. We need to protect our natural resources and block the pipeline.

Sharon Nottingham 6 years, 1 month ago

For your information, I am not a liberal, never owned a pair of birkenstocks, but I sure do love art and music. I think for myself...keep party lines out it. This is about human safety and there are no guarantees.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

I'm sick and tired of your views which are extreme and based in denial of reality and unfounded fear of change.

Mike Ford 6 years, 1 month ago

badmath and falseintelligence.......I think the behaviorists in the Kansas Correctional System identifed the WD-40 gene which make segments of the population impervious to fact and reason. Many of these people are discovered like ostriches with their heads buried in the sand or some other orifice not fit for print. Since many of these people wind up in prison the correctional officials were able to do a sample test on the 40 to 60 year old White inmates who grew up watching All In the Family and who identified with the people who felt like civil rights were an affront to their backwards way of life. Facts can be repeated all day and these men are tone deaf. Watching too much Fox network in prison and identifying with Joe Arpaio also were viewed as contributors to the problem. Wearing striped pink pajamas is the solution.

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