OMAHA– The 1,661-mile Keystone pipeline project intends to draw 1.1 million barrels of crude oil every day from Canada to the “hungry refineries” in the Midwest of the United States.
The name standing behind this project is TransCanada; they say distributing the million barrels per day is enough oil to replace 20% of the imports from Venezuela and the Middle East. They consider it “the most dependable way of transporting crude oil,” and an apparent asset to the economic stability of the states through which the pipeline runs through (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, and Illinois.)
Even though TransCanada implies operation specialists use advanced computerized leak detection systems, both satellite and fiber-optic which prevents major leakage and could stop the oil flow “at the push of a bottom.” BOLD Nebraska, the “progressive, moderate, populist, independent, and everything in between” organization has the notion and factual basis of impeding this process.
Legislative Bill 629 would implant the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Reclamation and Recovery Act or also known as the Oil Pipeline Reclamation Act. The act would ensure pipeline carriers (such as TransCanada) to provide proof of financial responsibility before constructing or operating. In sum, it assigns responsibility for all reclamation costs, allows any state agency, county board, and city council to engage replenishment costs to maintain and repair infrastructure caused by the construction of the pipeline.
Considering LB 629, BOLD Nebraska says, “This was a grasp for political cover. And several Senators admitted as much calling it a ‘small step’ and reiterating that we need to be doing more. If it was something else than political cover, we would have seen tougher, more common sense bills being debated and passed that actually protect our natural resources and landowners’ rights.”
Alike BOLD Nebraska, the director of the Nebraska Wildlife Federation director –Duane Hovorka– exclaims “We are disappointed that it doesn’t do more” in respect to Legislature addressing critical downfalls that are not covered on the bill such as, “eminent domain, sighting of pipeline, state permitting, and the liability of pipelines for spills.” Additionally, Hovorka says “we support the bill as is and are encouraging people to vote for it” and recalling it a disappointment, “we think that the legislature is unwilling to do enough in order to protect Nebraska Natural Resources, and Nebraska landowners” around the construction of the pipeline.
16x more corrosive
BOLD Nebraska reminds Nebraskans it is possible to recall the original route line and impose new regulations. What’s more interesting, is TransCanada not mentioning the “crude oil” as ‘tarsands’ oil that is 16 times more corrosive than traditional oil.
According to Jane Kleed –editor of BOLD Nebraska– as compared to regular crude oil “the tarsands oil is mixed with diluted bitumen or ‘DilBit’ which is a highly corrosive, acidic, and potentially unstable gas” that increases the risks of spills and damage to communities.
No business grounds
An investigative report by Vince Wade says, “The pipeline poses spill-threat” to the largest ‘subsurface/groundwater/drinking water’ reserve in the world (the Ogallala Aquifer). Nebraska’s topography, geology, and hydrology are at risk, and in between other dangers, Vince mentioned the “pipeline doesn’t make good business sense. A combination of the deep recession and improving vehicle fuel economy has resulted in” a surplus of U.S. refining capacity.
Therefore, in what way will the U.S. benefit from this earth and human threat as compared to a 20% import, when the material is more dangerous to our local communities?
No official stance thus far
Finally, the following organizations have yet to take a stance on this pipeline environmental issues: Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and Nature Conservancy – Nebraska.