Update 11:00am: Randy Thompson will not be able to testify before the subcommittee due to a family emergency. Representatives from NWF will still share parts of Randy’s story with the representatives. His written testimony will also be part of the official record.
Update 2:10pm: Rep. Lee Terry said in his opening statement that he supports the TransCanada pipeline bill that would rush the permit process. Despite the fact that back home in Nebraska we still have no safety, emergency response plans, routing or other standards to protect landowners and our natural resources. Call Rep. Terry and tell him we need more time and to pull his support of this bill, (402) 397-9944 or (202) 225-4155.
Randy Thompson, whose family’s land is in the proposed route of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, was invited to testify in front of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power. He will speak on behalf of not only his family but all Nebraskans who share concerns about the risks associated with the massive pipeline.
You can watch Randy give his testimony Monday, 2pm CT online HERE.
The Committee is discussing a proposed bill that would force President Obama and Sec. Clinton to approve the TransCanada pipeline by Nov. 1st, 2011. Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) from Omaha is on the Subcommittee that Randy will testify in front of on Monday.
Rep. Terry was helpful in securing a memo that clarified Nebraska’s elected officials role in deciding on the route of the pipeline within our state boundaries among other key issues which they have yet to act on in order protect our land and water.
We are troubled that the House Committee wants to rush the process of the pipeline. Especially because Nebraska has no state-based regulations that will protect landowners, our water supply and one of the most unique ecosystems in the world–the Nebraska Sandhills. We would like to see that happen before any pipeline gets approved.
We are also troubled that the Committee states:
“Completion of the Keystone pipeline extension would more than double the current system’s capacity, bringing 1.29 million barrels per day to into U.S. markets.”
For one, the tarsands oil is NOT guaranteed for the United States. The oil will be sold on the international market. There have been numerous studies citing the oil is destined for China and that this project would increase fuel prices in the MidWest.
Secondly, having over 1 million barrels of oil (or 42,000,000 gallons) pumping through the fragile Sandhills, Ogallala aquifer and our crop and cattle land is unfathomable and one of the most irresponsible decisions our elected officials could make.
We do not need to “speed” this process up–we need to study the issue more. We need to include more information from Nebraska experts, which te Department of State has yet to do. We need to get serious about making America energy independent. We need to support jobs in our state, like the 8,000 ethanol jobs, rather than support a risky project that would directly compete with those jobs.
Above everything else, we need to stand up for our land and water and protect Nebraskans from a foreign company wanting to invoke eminent domain.