Despite TransCanada’s pr spin, and despite the DEQ using a map that shrinks the Sandhills, the proposed route still crosses both the Sandhills and the Aquifer.

This route is no better than the last. TransCanada is still risking our Aquifer and still risking the fragile sandy soils of our state. When TransCanada first submitted their route to the US State Department, their designation of the Sandhills was much larger and much more accurate to the reality of the Sandhills region.

Gov. Heineman asked President Obama to deny the pipeline permit stating, “Do not allow TransCanada to build a pipeline over the Ogallala Aquifer and risk the potential damage to Nebraska’s water.”

If Gov. Heineman keeps his word and does what he asked the President to do–protect our water–than he will have to deny the current pipeline route when it crosses his desk for his decision on the route in Nebraska.

The President’s decision is about denying or approving the pipeline as it crosses the international border.

We hope both men think about our land and water and deny this risky, export tarsands pipeline.

map of aquifer


Text of Gov. Heineman’s Letter

Dear President Obama and Secretary Clinton:

I am writing to you today regarding a very important issue to the State of Nebraska and to our citizens- the Keystone XL Pipeline. I am opposed to the proposed route of this pipeline.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement compares a potential spill in the Sand Hills region to a 1979 Bemidji, Minnesota spill and concludes that “the impacts to shallow groundwater from a spill of a similar volume in the Sand Hills region would affect a limited area of the aquifer around the spill site.” I disagree with this analysis, and I believe that the pipeline should not cross a substantial portion of the Ogallala Aquifer.

Of the current proposed route, 254 miles of the pipeline would come through Nebraska and be situated directly over the Ogallala Aquifer. The aquifer provides water to farmers and ranchers of Nebraska to raise livestock and grow crops. Nebraska has 92,685 registered, active irrigation wells supplying water to over 8.5 million acres of harvested cropland and pasture. Forty-six percent of the total cropland harvested during 2007 was irrigated.

Maintaining and protecting Nebraska’s water supply is very important to me and the residents of Nebraska. This resource is the lifeblood of Nebraska’s agriculture industry. Cash receipts from farm markets contribute over $17 billion to Nebraska’s economy annually.

I am concerned that the proposed pipeline will potentially have detrimental effects on this valuable natural resource and Nebraska’s economy.

I want to emphasize that I am not opposed to pipelines. We already have hundreds of them in our state.

I am opposed to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline route because it is directly over the Ogallala Aquifer.

Therefore, I am asking you to disapprove TransCanada’s pending permit request. Do not allow TransCanada to build a pipeline over the Ogallala Aquifer and risk the potential damage to Nebraska’s water.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.