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Cornhuskers Vs. Keystone XL Pipeline: Subsequent Steps

Wednesday afternoon the Nebraska state legislature authorised a invoice (LB1161) that will enable Nebraska to proceed with a $2 million research to find a route for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by means of the state. Gov. Dave Heineman is anticipated to sign the measure into law. It’s a case of Huge Crimson going for the black by jeopardizing the inexperienced. However what does this imply

First, it implies that the global “folks energy” movement towards the Keystone XL pipeline beat again the vitality gasoline is produced by refining which fossil fuel and oil trade in January when President Obama and the State Department denied TransCanada’s pipeline permit. Our “united we stand” organizing technique was effective. It pressured the TransCanada to change techniques.

Now the oil trade is pushing a “divide and conquer” tactic. The plan is to interrupt the pipeline up into state-sized parts and negotiate on each section. However defensive wars are gained more typically than offensive ones. And People in opposition to the pipeline are combating a defensive conflict to protect our land towards a self-serving overseas oil company. Our forces are extra agile in preventing state-primarily based regional battles than TransCanada’s blunt cash-shoving weapon. Whereas proposed route adjustments away from the environmentally delicate Sandhills are very laudable and should be supported, one does not want to spend a lot time praising the alignment of the Titanic’s deck chairs when the sirens are sounding.

Second, it implies that Nebraska needs money and the proud Cornhuskers within the lege will do what’s essential to get it. For the reason that oil trade lobbyists have convinced the Obama administration to permit new routes to be proposed, Nebraska is leaping into the brand new maneuvering house — partially to maintain filling the state’s depleted coffers with funds from the TransCanada cash cow. The invoice permitted as we speak will re-begin the pipeline “review” course of on the state stage. And, the invoice requires TransCanada to reimburse the state for the route research. Ka-ching!

Nebraska’s Gov. Dave Heineman (Republican) has been walking a wonderful line between the strain for gasoline is produced by refining which fossil fuel “jobs” in his depressed Midwestern state and environmental considerations about running an oil pipeline by “America’s well,” the Oglala Aquifer. Earlier this year Heineman was strongly against the pipeline because of the consequences of an oil spill might have within the Sandhills, the place water tables — together with those of the massive Ogallala Aquifer — are excessive. A spill would be devastating for drinking water and for agricultural water wanted to maintain Nebraska steers watered for producing these advantageous Omaha steaks. In 2011, TransCanada had 12 oil spills in the U.S. Fears are properly-founded.

Third, it means it is time for Nebraskans to show up the heat on their governor and legislators. The re-ignited Keystone review will doubtless quick-observe eminent domain powers by the state. Anybody along the brand new proposed route can be offered fairly money up entrance by TransCanada to promote their inheritance for pottage. If that does not work, then the state will gasoline is produced by refining which fossil fuel start exercising its right to take land and properties and pay bottom dollar for the property.

Finally, a reminder. It is deceptive for information reviews to call the Keystone XL a “crude-oil pipeline.” It isn’t — no less than not in any common understanding of the phrase. It’s a “artificial oil and bitumen” or “tar sands oil” pipeline. This can be a non-normal petroleum product that can’t be transported safely by conventional pipelines. It is even more toxic than conventional crude oil.

The political shenanigans across the Keystone XL pipeline will proceed via the election season. President Obama is fearful of alienating his Huge Oil funders. Refinery Equipment States desperately want cash and can look to personal trade to get it — even when it means chopping off your nostril to spite their face.

However let’s keep the large image in thoughts. The Canadian tar sands are the second largest carbon reserve in the world. Mining these reserves already involves clear-chopping boreal forests, breaking indigenous treaties, irreversibly damaging water quality, and introducing toxic waste into the food chain affecting human well being, particularly the health of pregnant girls and their creating babies.

And it takes 8,800 pounds of earth and tar sands, plus an average of 155 gallons of contemporary water, to provide one barrel of tar sands oil, which can fill half a tank of a Chevy Suburban. The U.S.