By: Ashley Harding
The pipeline has been a touchy subject because some said it was too close to the Ogallala aquifer. A new route was drafted, but for some groups it's still too close. They want Governor Heineman to keep it far away.
With characters like the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who on hand, the governor's mansion was a sight straight out of Dr. Seuss this Christmas Eve. It's an effort put on by Bold Nebraska, a group strongly opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline. The mission? Keep the pipeline away from the Ogallala aquifer. A message they hope the governor will hear loud and clear.
"The most recent proposed route of that pipeline still crosses the aquifer and some very productive farm and ranch land in our state. We are asking him to stand by his word and deny that route," said Ben Gotschall, Bold Nebraska.
The pipeline has been a controversial subject for many Nebraskans since its proposal. The original route had it going through the Nebraska sandhills and over the aquifer. It was a plan that was stalled by President Obama. Transcanada has since drafted a new route, moving it 25 miles east. At a hearing held earlier this month in Albion, pipeline supporters like Doug Sea, said it would bring countless jobs to the state.
"I understand their property concerns. But the concerns of the United States are greater, in my opinion," said Sea.
Bold Nebraska still wants the route re–drawn. They say this time it should be moved to the eastern part of the state.
"There'd be no better gift to give the citizens of Nebraska and our future generations, than to make sure our aquifer is protected," said Gotschall.
The NDEQ is still preparing their final report. That will go to Governor Heineman. If he approves it, the White House will have the final say.