Big news happened in Nebraska in our hopes to get some common sense oil pipeline regulations on the books. State Senator Annette Dubas released a press statement and a bill that would finally give the Public Service Commission the authority to route oil pipelines in our state, versus TransCanada telling us where a massive pipe should be laid.
Fellow state senators Tony Fulton and Ken Haar are supporting her bill and a special session to deal with oil pipeline regulations.
We are still working our way through the bill and will have more details soon. For now, take a look at the bill, we have the full PDF so you can read the black and white details.
Below is the press release Sen. Dubas sent out today.
We hope every state senator and Gov. Heineman finally admit what has been fact for almost two years now: it is their role, their responsibility, their duty to put the proper state-based oil pipeline regulations in place in order to protect our land and water.
Contact your state senator and ask them if they are supporting the call for a special session. Let us know in the comments section what your state senator says.
Click here to use the Save Our Sandhills form to send an email to your state senator.
Click here to find your state senator’s contact info.
State Senator Dubas’ Media Release: Oil Pipeline Siting Act
October 3th, 2011
Contact: Joselyn Luedtke, Legislative Aide to Senator Annette Dubas, 402-471-2630, firstname.lastname@example.org
On Monday morning Senator Dubas released proposed legislation to give the state siting authority over certain pipelines constructed in Nebraska. The Oil Pipeline Siting Act would require siting approval by the Nebraska Public Service Commission prior to commencing construction though the state.
The OPSA, would provide an efficient method for authorization of oil pipeline construction through Nebraska – it is NOT intended to prevent pipeline construction. Instead, it ensures that as pipelines are built through this state the health, safety, and welfare of Nebraskans is considered. The bill is modeled after siting legislation in Montana and South Dakota. Nebraska currently has no siting law, and no opportunity to weigh in on the placement of oil pipelines in the state.
Senator Dubas introduced similar legislation last session, LB340, which focused on landowner notification of pipeline projects. While LB340 remains for the legislature to discuss next session, it has become clear that the Nebraska Legislature must act now. Over the past few months, many things have become clear that require immediate attention.
First, the Keystone XL pipeline has received massive public outcry. Farmers and ranchers, the lifeblood of our economy, are joining with concerned citizens from across the entire state to voice their concerns. Second, construction will begin as soon as the Presidential Permit is issued, which will happen as early as this December.
Lastly, it has become clear that Nebraska must act to protect individual citizens and our water supply. We cannot and should not depend on the Federal Government to protect our citizens and our natural resources. The focus of the OPSA is to provide siting authority that considers Nebraskans specific needs, gives Nebraskans a voice, and protects Nebraskans.