Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) and company are chewing out BP’s CEO Tony Hayward today. Vermont Congressman Peter Welch (also a D) makes a good argument that the BP Spill is not an aberration but business as usual. 

If Americans have learned anything over the past two years, it’s that we can’t trust industries to regulate themselves. Wall Street’s flippant attitude lead to the 2008 financial meltdown. And now deregulation of the oil industry has lead to the worst environmental disaster of our time. 

While our eyes are fixed on the Gulf Coast and Tony Hayward, Nebraskans risk a similar catastrophe in our own backyard. 

TransCanada wants to build a pipeline that would transport tar sands oil from Alberta Canada to refineries in Texas. The pipeline would go right through Nebraska and right through the Ogallala Aquifer which provides vital irrigation and drinking water to Nebraska families. 

We can’t be complacent with claims from the oil industry that pipelines on land are “safer.” In 2006, BP’s pipeline in Alaska was so corroded that it spilled 270,000 gallons of crude oil. The pipeline hadn’t been properly cleaned in 14 years because BP officials didn’t think it was necessary. 

Just this month, a Chevron pipeline in Utah spilled 21,000 gallons of oil into the Red Butte Creek. Despite pipeline technology that should detect such leaks, this leak was not caught until 10 hours after it started and residents around Red Butte complained of fumes. 

So as we watch the members of the House Energy and Commerce committee’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations grill Tony Hayward, let’s remember that if the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline is built, Nebraska is throwing itself at the mercy of big oil. 

ACTION: Please sign our petition to stop the Keystone XL from even being constructed. Let’s keep Nebraska clean and push for sustainable and safe sources of energy.