A Nebraska Congressman believes Nebraskans will speak their mind during public hearings on the Keystone XL pipeline. He just hopes someone is listening.
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry has little doubt that Nebraska residents will take advantage of the two public hearings on TransCanada’s proposed oil pipeline from western Canada to the Gulf Coast in Texas. He has some doubt about whether the State Department is open-minded.
“Reading between the lines, it seems to me the State Department and the president, the administration, has signaled an interest in this pipeline going forward. And I think that’s a bit unfortunate, because it’s premature given that we are in the midst of the environmental review and the public hearings that are coming up,” Fortenberry tells the Jack and John Show on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “Many Nebraskans have rightfully expressed very deep and serious concerns about the location of this pipeline.”
Still, Fortenberry says Nebraska needs to take advantage of the two hearings this week, and he believes they will express their reservations about an oil pipeline cutting through the Sand Hills and the Ogallala Aquifer.
“Listen, it’s my experience that Nebraskans will tell you exactly what they’re thinking,” according to Fortenberry. “And, so, if enough people got to these public hearings and impress upon the State Department that this is a very serious issue to us and that they need to pay attention, I would hope that it would have some impact.”
TransCanada proposes building a $7 billion pipeline from western Canada to the Gulf Coast, transporting crude oil deposits from tar sands 1,700 miles to refineries in Texas. Public hearings began this week. The State Department will take testimony at the Pershing Center in Lincoln beginning Tuesday at Noon. It will be in the Sand Hills Thursday, with a public hearing slated to begin at 4:30pm at West Holt High School in Atkinson.