Read today’s news from around the state and country. Each day in the Roundup we cover politics, always with a side of bold humor. We think politics should be fun, informative and encourage us all to take action.
NPPD Approves Two KXL Agreements: The Nebraska Public Power District board advanced two Keystone XL-related initiatives Friday. The first will restart transmission line work on the new KXL route. The utility was supposed to have begin work on this project earlier this year, but deferred while TransCanada designed a new route. NPPD also voted to sign a contract ensuring TransCanada will reimburse the utility for all expenses incurred building electric infrastructure to serve the pipeline. BOLD representatives who attended the meeting pointed out that an estimated 10 percent of the that amount loaned — at least $11 million — will be shouldered by ratepayers. Read more here.
Keystone Easement Acquisitions Make Top OWH Story: The lead story in this weekend’s Omaha World-Herald begins with a cautionary tale of a man who opposed TransCanada during their first Keystone project through Nebraska. Sam Fischer just wanted pipeline on the other side of his well, staff writer Joe Duggan writes. Instead of working with him, TransCanada used eminent domain to force Fischer to turn over his land. “(T)he experience taught him a landowner’s right to his own land have limits.” Read the whole story here.
Lathrop Out: Omaha State Sen. Steve Lathrop announced Friday that he’s decided against running for governor. He’s been conducting a statewide listening tour while deciding whether to run, and announced via Twitter his plans to continue serving legislative district 12 in next year’s unicameral session instead. This leaves the Democratic gubernatorial nomination open to right now just Chuck Hassebrook, University of Nebraska regent, and Annette Dubas, Fullerton state senator. Nebraska Watchdog opined the dividing line between the two will be abortion, Dubas being pro-life, and Hassebrook pro-choice. Read their analysis here.
A Governor To Fight The Good KXL Fight?: Fullerton Sen. Annette Dubas will be running for the governor’s seat, according to Nebraska Watchdog. Among her accolades as a member of county zoning boards and school boards, the article touts a bill she introduced last year to require pipeline companies (TransCanada) to have permits before threatening to condemn land (for pipeline easements). Yet as recently as 2011 Dubas allowed TransCanada to park their equipment on her land. Which candidate are we getting for governor? It would be to your benefit to engage the senator and pose the question to her yourself.
Wildlife Service Penalizes Whistle-Blowers In Pipeline Study: The US Fish and Wildlife Service was about to use a flawed way to determine how the KXL would affect the American burying beetle — in some instances knowingly. The agency willfully ignored the advice of employees who cited the study for only addressing a quarter of the insect’s habitat in Oklahoma. Retaliation against the whistle-blowers followed. Now, the Interior Department’s inspector general has made the entire spectacle public with a report on what they’re calling a “management alert,” and is still determining what to do with the offending supervisors. Read more here.
Yes, BP, You Do Have To Pay For Your Spill: