Groups that have been working on the pipeline this past year applaud Senator Sullivan and the Unicameral for passing at least one bill on the pipeline this year. However, we all agree with the senators who said that LB 629 is a small step in the many steps we need to take as a state to protect our land, water and economic activity.
Five state senators, ranging across party and ideological lines, signed and sent a letter to Sec. Clinton with a common-sense request: delay the pipeline permit decision until at least May 2012 so the senators can implement state laws that will protect our state’s economic and natural resources. We thank Senators Haar, Coash, Dubas, Fulton and Sullivan for seeking the time necessary to establish standards to protect our state from the risks of a foreign corporation’s tarsands pipeline.
As a reminder, states have the authority and the responsibility to pass laws in these oil pipeline areas (right now Nebraska does not have any such laws in place):
- Eminent domain process and terms (note: this is state-only jurisdiction)
- Siting and routing of pipelines (e.g. no pipeline in Sandhills)
- Easement abandonment of unused/out-of-service pipe
- Emergency response planning (e.g. proper training and equipment available in every county along the route)
- Financial liability (e.g. bonds for road repair/construction)
- Standards for neighboring land uses
Group leaders are available for interviews and their contact info is below:
- Jane Kleeb, Director, Bold Nebraska, firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Hansen, President, Nebraska Farmers Union, email@example.com
- Duane Hovorka, Executive Director, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ken Winston, Policy Director, Nebraska Sierra Club, email@example.com
- Marian Langan, Director, Audubon Nebraska, firstname.lastname@example.org