Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline have gathered more than half a million signatures urging Congress to let President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline stand.
Bold Nebraska Executive Director Jane Kleeb says the organization isn’t satisfied with the compromise that would chart a new route for the oil pipeline through Nebraska. It wants to keep the pipeline from being built.
“So, I think Americans really do have to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘You are not going to crisscross the United States and cross our waterways with this risky type of pipeline for oil that’s not even guaranteed for the United States,’” Kleeb says.
Kleeb lists a host of reasons she says should be sufficient to keep construction of the $7 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline from ever being built. TransCanada proposes constructing the pipeline over 1,700 miles from the tar sand fields of western Canada to oil refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas. President Obama rejected TransCanada’s permit. The State Department has stated the company can re-file, but must start over with its application.
The president’s action drew praise from Bold Nebraska, even though the president stated he turned down TransCanada, because Congress forced him to act before the process was completed. The state legislature, during a special session, reached a compromise with TransCanada to re-route the pipeline to avoid the Sand Hills.
Kleeb argues, though, that the rejection should be made permanent. She claims the oil developed from tar sands creates more pollution than conventionally refined oil. And Kleeb asserts TransCanada has given no promises that the oil moved through the pipeline will stay in the United States.
Bold Nebraska claims it and other opponents of Keystone have gathered more than 770,000 signatures opposing moves in Congress to overturn the president’s rejection of the permit. The
signatures are to be hand-delivered to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
The 500,000th person to sign the petition was Alayna Yael Cohen, a law student at the University of Nebraska.
Tyson Havranek, KHAS, contributed to this report
AUDIO: Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb on Keystone XL pipeline [:30]