A leading opponent of the Keystone XL oil pipeline doesn’t think much of the alternative route TransCanada has submitted to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
TransCanada spokesman Grady Semmens says the proposed new route for Keystone XL [PDF map of Keystone XL route] not only avoids the Sand Hills, but other environmentally sensitive areas.
“And we believe is a very good route that can be built safely and reliably and with very minimal impact to all the natural resources along the way,” Semmens tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Not so, asserts Jane Kleeb with Bold Nebraska, the leading Keystone opponent, who dismisses TransCanada claims that the new route will have little environmental impact.
“You know, they’re trying to, from our perspective, play a little bit of games here, to try to pretend that they are changing the route in significant ways when they’re really just doing tinkering around the edges,” Kleeb says in an interview with Nebraska Radio Network.
Kleeb doesn’t see much of a change when she observes the new route, charging that the alternative route still crosses sandy soil, posing environmental hazards to Nebraska. Though Kleeb concedes that it would be difficult to avoid the Ogallala Aquifer altogether, she says the fact that the pipeline will run through a portion of the aquifer threatens the state’s vast water supply.
Bold Nebraska stands opposed not just to Keystone XL. It stands opposed to the raw material that will be used to make the crude proposed to travel from western Canada 1,700 miles to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas. Bold Nebraska and other environmental groups contend using tar sands to produce crude oil is inherently hazardous to the environment.
Kleeb says Bold Nebraska will be contacting property owners affected by the proposed new route, informing them of their rights and the eminent domain process.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]
AUDIO: Brent Martin interviews Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska about the alternative Keystone XL pipeline [4:10]