We, the members of Green Bellevue, oppose the construction of TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline in Nebraska.
To protect the over $17.2 billion agricultural industry in Nebraska, clean water resources must be protected. We must ensure the health of clean drinking water for millions of people who rely on the Ogallala Aquifer in the west, and on Nebraska's rivers and groundwater wells in the eastern part of the state. According to an analysis of worst-case scenarios by John Stansbury, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Environmental/Water Resources Engineering at UNL, the number of leaks and the amount of the leaks would be greater than estimated by TransCanada. Stansbury also noted that the drinking water of the entire state, including Omaha and Lincoln could be at risk from this pipeline.
There is no pipeline material known to be safe to carry these tar sands, which are acidic and contain many toxic heavy metals including lead, mercury and arsenic. This is evident from the twelve known leaks on the existing pipeline. In addition, there is no known method to clean up spills and restore clean water. Existing pipeline monitoring equipment has proven ineffective in detecting leaks. New monitoring equipment is untested.
This pipeline project has the potential to benefit Nebraska in the short term by providing jobs. However, pipeline leaks could result in contamination of water for irrigation, livestock, and drinking, and could also lead to the loss of a great number of agricultural sector jobs in the long term. Above all, it is impossible to put a price on the lives that could be lost from drinking poisoned water, and on the enduring health risks that a spill would pose.
It should not be argued that this pipeline would contribute to our energy security. This is because once these tar sands are refined; there is no guarantee that the final product will be purchased for use by Americans.
The efforts to increase job creation would be better spent on developing alternative energies in Nebraska. These cleaner technologies would not put human lives and livelihoods at risk and would pose a much smaller risk to the environment. Therefore, Green Bellevue believes the presidential permit for this additional TransCanada pipeline should not be approved.
chairman, and nine other members of Green Bellevue