More than the Easter bunny is hopping our way! Updates on landowner rights, State Dept. hearing, the citizen lawsuit and timing of the decision by Pres. Obama are in this blog post. We still need you write letters to President Obama. It is the old-school, handwritten letters that get the attention of our elected leaders. The President told Republicans he knows this pipeline creates 35 long-term jobs and is an export pipeline. Which if course then asks the question, how again is this in our national interest? Why are we risking water and property rights? Keep up the pressure pipeline fighters!
Submit Your Comment to State Dept.
Submit your formal comment to the State Dept while letting us know you will attend the State Dept. hearing and if you want to help volunteer to get ready for the hearing. Comments are due April 22, 2013. Even if you submitted a comment last year, it is critical you submit a comment again. We are collecting them this way because the State Dept. did lose several comments. We will then send them all in at once to the State Dept.
Comment link: http://tinyurl.com/KXLhearing
Attend the State Dept. Hearing
Nebraska is the only state to get a hearing on this phase of the State Dept.’s Environmental Review. Details below and on our special page with lots of info about our plans around the hearing.
State Dept. Hearing
April 18th, noon-8pm CT (registration to speak/testify starts at 11am, a break happens from 3:30-4pm)
Heartland Events Center, 700 East Stolley Park Rd., Grand Island
Bold Nebraska and partner group plans for the State Dept hearing and events, click here
Rep. Lee Terry Reckless Bill and Sen. Hoeven
Rep. Terry and Sen. Hoeven are both at it again with bills and amendments that “force” the approval of the Keystone XL export pipeline. The problem with Lee Terry is he has no idea what is happening in our state. The citizen lawsuit challenging the route (see more below) could throw the entire route out. A proper water study, consultation with Ponca tribe on the Trail of Tears and risk/reward analysis of the contract between TransCanada and the landowners has not even be reviewed yet by the State Dept. and yet Lee Terry is willing to stand with a foreign corporation that is exporting tarsands which brings America no energy independence? All while risking property rights and our water? It’s time to step up the calls and pressure to all of Nebraska’s Members of Congress. Remind your Members of Congress there is a current lawsuit on the route and eminent domain in our state. Ask them “How can Canadian tarsands replace middle eastern oil when the tarsands is being exported to other counties and not staying in America? Where is the independence?” We would like to thank Rep. Fortenberry for never signing any of Terry’s reckless letters or bills.
|Member Name||DC Phone|
|Sen. Johanns (R- NE)||202-224-4224|
|Sen. Fischer (R- NE)||202-224-6551|
|Rep. Fortenberry (R-01)||202-225-4806|
|Rep. Terry (R-02)||202-225-4155|
|Rep. Smith (R-03)||202-225-6435|
We heard from several landowners that TransCanada (despite their promise they would not) is out telling landowners they need to sign now or they can start the eminent domain process. More info for landowners is over at NEAT, which is the group set up to help folks along or close to the proposed route. Legally, you do not have to let TransCanada on your land or even answer their calls. They do not have a permit to build anything. Email Amy with any questions. You can simply tell TransCanada, if you are part of NEAT, to call the legal team at Domina Law Group.
State Dept. Planning Meetings
In order to prepare for the State Dept. Hearing (we still have no date/time/location for the formal hearing), we are holding meetings across Nebraska to update folks on our plans, hand out t-shirts and get feedback. Updates on the citizen lawsuit, landowner rights and other information about the pipeline will also be shared. These are PLANNING meetings below, these dates are NOT the official State Dept. hearing.
Facebook RSVP and Share Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/163626760458702/
Sunday 3/24 – O’Neill, @O’Neill Community Center, 2-4pm
Monday 3/25 – Lincoln, @UNL (226 Centennial Room in the Nebraska Union), 5:30-7pm
Tuesday 3/26 – York, @Kilgore Memorial Library, 4:30-6pm (On Tuesday in York, the District 5 Nebraska Farmers Union meeting will follow @Chances R restaurant where you can join us for supper on Bold and attend the Farmers Union mtg)
Monday 4/1 – Omaha, @First Unitarian Church (31st & Harney), 6-7:30pm (a local Sierra Club mtg will follow)
The law passed in Nebraska that approved the current route for Keystone XL pipeline is being challenged in court by three landowners. The most recent ruling in favor of the landowners makes it clear that if the citizens win after the full trail–which will happen this summer–then any route approved for Nebraska is thrown out including with the US State Department process. The case, filed last year, has passed various legal hurdles with the citizens winning at every stage. The state of Nebraska failed to get the case dismissed. The lawsuit contends that the law passed–LB 1161–is unconstitutional by giving the power of eminent domain to the Governor and by giving the Nebraska DEQ authority to review a pipeline route when that power rests with the Nebraska Public Service Commission.
Pipeline Decision Timeline
While this is not an official timeline from the US State Department, there are rules and regulations the process must follow and this is our best estimate for when a final decision might be issued. The US Congress might try to shorten this timeframe, although it is very unclear if they have legal standing to make any changes and the Nebraska route is an ongoing legal issue.
March 1: Draft SEIS is issued by State
March 8: Comment periods begins
April 18: Official Nebraska hearing in Grand Island
April 22: 45-day Comment period closes (also Earth Day)
June 22: State Department releases Final SEIS – 90 day National Interest Determination (NID) starts (assuming relatively aggressive two months preparing time)
September 22: State Department finishes NID process, issues draft permit decision to coordinating agencies, which have 15 days to disagree with State’s proposed decision
October 7: Presidential Permit decision issued (one we belive will be denial since this export pipeline is not in our national interest)
Handwritten letters are the best way to communicate your concerns about the pipelne. Sending a picture with your letter is even better! If you are going to take the time to send a letter, send us a pic with your letter (email it to firstname.lastname@example.org) or put it up on Facebook and Instagram (make sure you tag it #nokxl). If you really feel ambitious, copy your letter and send it to all of these folks…or send a new handwritten letter every day until you get thru this list. All of these folks are important to hear from you. President Obama asked us to be the change, he asked us to push him, so let’s show him our citizen power.
Pledge to write a letter: http://pipelinefighters.org
President Obama, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500
Sec. Kerry, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C. Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20520
Valerie Jarrett, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500
Heather Zichal, Office of Energy and Climate Change, 1650 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20502
Pete Rouse, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500
Rohan Patel, Council on Environmental Quality, 722 Jackson Place, NW.Washington, D.C. 20506
Tina Tchen, Office of the First Lady, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500
Kerri-Ann Jones, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C. Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20520
Gina McCarthy, EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Room 3412 ARN: MC-1102A, Washington, DC 20460
George Sibley, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C. Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20520
Keith Benes, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C. Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20520