Bold Nebraska submitted a number of documents in its public comment to the U.S. State Dept. (embedded below) for the 30-day National Interest Determination (NID) for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline that concluded on March 7, 2014. Opponents of the pipeline submitted more than 2 million public comments to the State Dept.
Quote from Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb: “We stand with Pres. Obama when he echoed our concerns: ‘Nebraskans are not going to take a few thousand jobs if it’s means our drinking water and our kids health could be put at risk.’ The State Department confirmed the proposed route still crosses the Sandhills and Ogallala Aquifer. TransCanada is a foreign tarsands pipeline without a route in our state and we have the determination and numbers to keep it that way.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2013
Contact: Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska
Pipeline Fighters Submit State Dept. Comments: TransCanada Unfit to Build
Bold Nebraska and the Nebraska Easement Action Team submit a joint letter
Lincoln, NE — Bold Nebraska and the Nebraska Easement Action Team today submitted a joint letter to the State Department calling on the President to reject the Keystone XL pipeline permit (see full letter here: https://boldnebraska.org/nidcomments).
Groups opposed to the pipeline submitted over 2 million comments urging the President to reject the Keystone XL permit.
The State Department has yet to conduct a worst-case spill scenario for the Ogallala Aquifer, our rivers and families’ wells. The 25-page letter goes into detail about the risks to water, soils, local economy and the Sandhills. The pipeline threatens almost 2,400 wells and the State Department admits the pipeline could leak for up to 90 days before TransCanada’s system detects a leak. This can result in a benzene plume over 2,200 feet and with chemical concentrations that exceed the safe drinking water limit.
We believe the President has enough information to deny the pipeline. Any attempt to approve the pipeline will be met with legal hurdles because over 250 miles of the route is currently not approved by the state of Nebraska.
The letter reinforces that there is no legally-approved route for this pipeline project through the state of Nebraska. On February 18, 2013, Lancaster County District Court Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled that Nebraska’s law LB1161 was unconstitutional and declared that the route identified by the process established by that law is null and void. TransCanada and Gov. Heineman may think the route is still valid as they appeal the decision, however the law is the law and TransCanada has no legally approved route in our state.
Additionally, the Canadian government recently found TransCanada “non-compliant” in four areas including “risk assessment” and is conducting an investigation on the first Keystone pipeline’s fittings (see full Canadian report here: https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rsftyndthnvrnmnt/sfty/dtrprt/trnscndt2011-2012-2013-01/ndx2011-2012-2013-01-eng.html).
In addition to the letter, Bold Nebraska and partner groups under the “Cowboy and Indian Alliance” are getting ready to announce on Monday a joint action to take place in D.C. as well as a new petition asking the President to visit Nebraska for a pipeline “Ed”ucation, in reference to MSNBC host Ed Schultz changing his pro-pipeline position after he visited Nebraska to meet with landowners and tribal groups.
The full letter and attachments to the State Department: https://boldnebraska.org/nidcomments
The petition to Pres. Obama: https://boldnebraska.org/obama
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Over two million #NoKXL comments were delivered to the State Dept. by Keystone XL opponents today: