Both sides rally one day before Keystone Hearings - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Both sides rally one day before Keystone Hearings

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Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News 

Opponents of the Keystone XL Pipeline rallied to make their voices heard in Lincoln Sunday afternoon.

There are many reasons they say the project should stop before it starts.

But the overarching reason is environmental–the potential for an oil spill and water contamination is too high.

And Nebraska needs to move past fossil fuels.

Nebraska comes from an Omaha word, a Native word, nebrathka, which means flat water, ningay, if these types of actions continue we will have ningay– that means no more flat water,” Chairman Wolf of the Omaha Nation said.

"We're just trying to protect the water and all the life it contains, and water is life, we cannot exist without water,” said Dennis a water protector from the Ogalala Sioux Tribe.

But they also say it comes down to discrimination of indigenous peoples...

"Our people are buried in those areas where they say there's nothing out there, that they wanna claim as imminent domain again and break another treating, this is our land,” Larry, Ponca Tribe Chairman said.

But it wasn't just representatives from Native American tribes fighting the KXL.

Pipeline supporters held an event in Omaha today celebrating the jobs the project would bring.

It's huge for the checks that they get and the insurance this job will probably carry their insurance at least through the year possibly for 16 months,” Sam Renshaw with Local Union 1140 said.

And money it could bring to the state.

"We're hurting in rural Nebraska and this would be a needed shot in the arm in a time where we need some dollars circulating to make these rural communities go,” Mike Flood, pipeline supporter said.

Supporters also say the pipeline is the safest way to transport oil.

But Jane Kleeb, organizer of the rally doesn't see how the pipeline benefits the state.

"There is absolutely no reason why the Public Service Commission would grant a permit to foreign corporations that's using foreign steel, shipping foreign tar sands to a foreign export market all for their bottom line when that has nothing to do with Nebraska's Public Interest,” Kleeb said.

A formal hearing over the pipeline will start Monday at the Lincoln Cornhusker Hotel.

But there's also been questions about whether or not the pipeline will be built at all, Transcanada says oil prices may be too low.

They'll make a decision later in the fall.

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