The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who visited Gov. Heineman asking him to not “Be a Mean One” and to deny any route that crosses the Ogallala Aquifer. They gave him presents with the following requests:
1) Pair of Flip Flops: Don’t flip flop on protecting the Aquifer, deny the proposed route.
2) Homestead Pictures: Honor our families legacies who gave their sweat and determination to homestead the land that is now threatened, promise landowners no eminent domain for private gain (or at the very least no eminent domain until/if they get a federal permit).
3) Citizen Review of DEQ Report and PSC Siting Regulations: Deny the proposed route so the PSC can assess the route with clear standards and rules that are absent from the current DEQ process (that also has a clear conflict of interest by contractor HDR which does work for TransCanada).
“The Governor asked President Obama to deny the pipeline permit because of the risks to the Aquifer,” said Ben Gotschall. “We are asking that he stands by his own words and denies this pipeline route. The DEQ reports was written by a TransCanada contractor and the PSC should be reviewing the route.”
FOR PRESS: Pictures of the event are posted on our Flickr page and our Facebook page. Pictures should be credited to Mary Ann Andrei for Bold Nebraska. You can request high res versions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background: Letter from Gov. Heineman to President Obama (see more on http://heinemanagreeswithobama.com):
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.