Report explains pipeline concerns

Concerns over the proposed Keystone XL Oil Pipeline that would go through parts of Nebraska have now been outlined in a report addressing what the response time would be if a spill were to occur.

Bold Nebraska, the Nebraska Sierra Club, and the Nebraska Wildlife Federation all have one thing in common.  They don't want TransCanada to build another pipeline through our state.

They joined forces with an organization known as Plains Justice.  They're not only worried about the proposed pipeline, they feel more security and safety measures need to be in place on the one we already have.  Landowner Ben Gotschall says, “my family are cattle ranchers.  Three generations before me were cattle ranchers.   There is not a lot of clear understanding of what would happen in the event of a spill.”

Gotschall drove to the capitol from his ranch in northern Nebraska to voice his anxiety over the current pipeline that runs through the Eastern Sand Hills region and his support for improving that environment's safety.  “In many areas of the Sand Hills, the pipeline is in the Aquifer, so it is 100% certain that a pipe in the water will get into the water if it leaks.”

A report released by Plains Justice identifies TransCanada's lacking in materials and infrastructure to deal with a leak if it were to arise in rural Nebraska.  Paul Blackburn wrote the report and says, “if it is as TransCanada says, this pipeline is needed for the national interest, then the nation can ensure that the people who host this pipeline are protected to the maximum extent possible.”

To do that, he and others say action must be taken at the state level.

Tuesday afternoon, their report was dropped off at the offices of Governor Dave Heineman and Attorney General Bruning, asking them to keep in mind the Ogallala Aquifer and the Nebraskans who rely on it.

TransCanada has said that it does have safety measures in place, and that it won't comment on the new report until it has a chance to read it.