The following press release was submitted by: Nebraska Sierra Club, Bold Nebraska, Nebraska Green Party, Audubon Nebraska, Nebraska League of Women Voters, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light, Guardians of the Good Life

Groups are releasing a resolution from the Citizens’ Special Session that makes it clear, we expect the legislature to pass a law that keeps oil pipelines away from the Sandhills and underlying Ogallala Aquifer.

Citizens who came and spoke for themselves during last week’s hearing continued this message, articulating the importance of the Sandhills to Nebraska’s economy and heritage. The line is clear where citizens stand.

In legislative terms this means:

1) We support an amendment to Senator Dubas’ LB1 that would protect the Sandhills from oil pipelines.

2) The state-level Environmental Impact Study–as stated in LB4–should be a fair, independent and public process that includes state experts without any interference from TransCanada or other oil pipeline companies.

We are concerned that TransCanada was in the meeting last night with the Natural Resources Committee as they were amending LB1. Because of this, it is critical that this type of back-room dealing ends now and our land and water are protected.

Resolution of the Citizens’ Special Session regarding the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline

WHEREAS the Sandhills are one of our state’s environmental treasures, are ecologically sensitive and are highly susceptible to damage;

WHEREAS the Ogallala aquifer is our state’s greatest water resource, of importance not only to Nebraskans but also to our nation and the world;

WHEREAS the majority of Nebraskans do not want to jeopardize the Sandhills and Ogallala aquifer with the construction, operation, and decommissioning of the TransCanada Keystone XL diluted bitumen pipeline;

WHEREAS TransCanada has bullied Nebraska landowners, refused to negotiate with Nebraska lawmakers, and disregarded the concerns of Nebraska citizens about the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline,

BE IT RESOLVED that on this 4th day of November, 2011, the citizens of Nebraska call on their state legislature to, at a minimum, set forth and enact legislation to protect Nebraska’s land and water, and to move the route of oil pipelines away from the Sandhills and the underlying Ogallala aquifer.