By: Hannah Paczkowski
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline has caused concerns for some landowners in Nebraska, but experts said we need this pipeline.
"These aren't optional things, they heat our homes, they power our factories, they fuel our vehicles and aircrafts, it's something we need and the farmers need them for the Diesel fuels as well," Brigham McCown, the former head of Federal Pipeline Safety, said.
The main topic of discussion was pipeline safety. National experts selected by the Nebraskans for Jobs and Energy Independence group said pipelines are the safest way to transport oil across the country.
"They transport about 2/3's of all of the energy products we use in the country and they do that by transporting 31 million barrels around the country each and every day without incident," McCown said.
If an incident were to arise, the experts said the emergency planning and response teams do their best to make sure people and the environment aren't affected, but some protestors said they aren't convinced.
"We think that America has enough pipeline infrastructure to carry the needs of American oil," Director of BOLD Nebraska Jane Kleeb said.
Experts said if they eliminate the number of pipelines, that means increasing other modes of transportation, which could be more dangerous than a pipeline.
"All modes of transportation are safe, but the statistics show, the pipelines are the safest. If you get gas in Lincoln or Omaha even though a tanker truck brings that your gas station, that tanker truck is getting that fuel from a pipeline," McCown said.
The ultimate decision on whether the Keystone XL pipeline gets approved sits with President Obama.