John Hansen says the routes are all through environmentally-fragile areas and an oil leak could quickly bring disaster.
“Between 30 and 40% of the routes all go diagonally, right through very sandy soils,” Hansen says. “These soils are porous, they don’t hold water very well. Moisture moves through them very quickly. They’re prone to wind erosion. They’re prone to leaching.”
The Nebraska Public Service Commission held four days of hearings on the routes earlier this month. Hansen says the state doesn’t have a way to handle choosing a proper route.
“All three of these routes are all shortcuts based on TransCanada going back to the start and trying to take advantage of the state of Nebraska,” Hansen says, “because we had failed as a state to put in place an oil pipeline siting and routing process.”
Hansen says the PSC is supposed to give weight to an existing, established and properly-sited route. He says TransCanada doesn’t need the three routes proposed because they already have a route that meets those requirements.
The commission is expected to make a decision on Keystone XL in October or November.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton