August 20, 2014

Reaction is mixed on proposed new routes for Keystone XL pipeline

TransCanada is releasing maps showing alternate routes for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, around the Nebraska Sand Hills and avoiding the bulk of the Ogallala aquifer.

State Senator Tyson Larson of O’Neill says there are still mixed opinions about the company’s proposed routes.

“They kept to their word,” Larson says. “They stayed out of the EPA-designated Sand Hills. What I’m hearing, there’s a core group of people in Holt County that are still very much upset with the new map.”

The pipeline would still enter northern Nebraska in Holt County, but would swing further east into southwest Knox County before realigning with its previous route in central Nebraska.

Larson says people have to let state officials know what they think about the new maps and the potential routes. Public Hearings are planned through the state Department of Environmental Quality.

“If you like one of the routes or don’t like one of the routes, I would encourage individuals to contact DEQ and let your voice be heard,” Larson says. “That’s part of the process. It’s out of the legislature’s hands but hopefully something can get done soon.”

TransCanada is working with the state to re-applies for a president permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline from western Canada to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas.

The pipeline will travel 1,700 miles and cost $7-billion to build.

By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton