We post pipeline news and calls to action on a regular basis but also realize you might have missed some blogs…so below is a recap of some highlights over the past few weeks.
The pipeline bills are getting their first hearing in Lincoln on Wed, at 1:30pm. The bills are:
- LB 340, establishes state-based guidelines and oversight for oil pipelines
- LB 629, establishes a state-based certiï¬cation process for oil pipelines
- LB 578, requires pipeline companies to be ï¬nancially responsible for clean-up, decommissioning, maintenance to roads
If you want to submit testimony in support of the bills, you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will submit it into the record for you. You can also testify in person on Feb. 9th in Lincoln at 1:30pm (room 1525). For sample testimony, click here.
You can also write to the state senators on the Natural Resources Committee which will hear the testimony and decide if the bills get to the floor for all state senators to vote on. We are concerned the Natural Resources Committee is not hearing from enough Nebraskans, so please email or call them and express your support for all 3 pipeline bills. We provide a sample email/letter to express support and a sample “do more” letter on our action page.
The tarsands oil spill in Michigan is turning out to reinforce all of our concerns about a pipeline company saying they will pay for clean-up but are now in court with landowners to try to back out of promised payment. This is why we need strong state regulations to ensure landowners are not stuck in court to clean up their land.
A family in Oklahoma has decided to take TransCanada to court to challenge them on eminent domain. There is a possibility of some landowners in Nebraska taking their case to the court system as well. Once we hear more info, we will pass that along.
Bold Nebraska and Nebraska Wildlife sent two staff out to get pictures and video of landowners and citizens in the Sandhills. We will release those videos soon, but here is a blog post about the visit from a proud “city slicker.”
President Obama met with Canadian Prime Minister last week and Obama did not commit to the pipeline. Although a new Dept. of Energy report was used in the meeting to say the US should approve the project. There are mixed reviews on what the report actually means. On the one hand it could lessen dependence on oil from the Middle East. On the other hand the oil is not guaranteed for the US, will raise oil prices in the Midwest and is not needed until 2030.
Almost half of our state senators sent a letter to Sec. Clinton asking that she supports the request of Senators Johanns and Nelson to conduct more studies on the Ogallala and Sandhills before making a decision on the permit for the pipeline (which we hear a decision might come in late Feb or by June).
Nebraska groups are sending a delegation of landowners and citizens to DC to lobby our elected officials on the pipeline. We are planning the visit in mid-March. We hope to meet with Sec. Clinton or at least a representative at the State Department. We will schedule visits with our Members of Congress as well.
A very successful Education and Action Forum took place in Lincoln last month. We have plans to bring this to Omaha and out along the pipeline route. If you want to help bring one to your community, just email us.
Lastly, we have an action guide up on our website with 10 things folks can do to help stop the pipeline. We also have printed guides we can send to you if you want them.