Pipeline security only beginning if, when it is built

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Nebraska State Patrol invited county sheriffs and prosecutors along the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to a meeting to discuss security.

The pipeline hasn't been given final federal approval -- the Environmental Protection Agency is questioning the State Department's environmental impact statement.

Pipeline opponents are already in full protest mode, but vowed not to stop even if President Obama signs off on the project, which will deliver some 830,000 barrels of U.S. and Canadian crude oil to Texas refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Spokeswoman Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska said there likely would be peaceful acts of civil disobedience in the state.

She may be right, but there's no guarantee protests would be as peaceful as they have been, for the most part, during construction of the leg of the pipeline between Cushing, Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast.

But modern realities must be taken into account long after the pipeline is constructed, if it is. Pipelines, like other type of vital infrastructure, are potential targets for terrorism, foreign or domestic.

And, opponents do have legitimate concerns about environmental danger, whether terrorism or human error is at fault.

When the Keystone XL pipeline is built, if it is built, the job of keeping the public and environment secure has only just begun.

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  • TransCanada staff were also at the meeting. We think it appropriate for our police to plan in order to keep the public, citizens and landowners safe. What concerns us is that TransCanada wanted this meeting to also discuss with our state police officers a plan for hiring them in their off-duty hours to work for them as security. This is a major conflict. TransCanada also did this in TX. It caused major and unnecessary feelings of mistrust among landowners and local police when they were on-duty. We would welcome a meeting with our state police force to develop a plan and for communication to be open about plans for peaceful protests. We do not welcome TransCanada hiring our state's police.

    -- Posted by letfreedomring on Thu, May 2, 2013, at 11:25 PM
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