'Bold Nebraska' Opposes the 'New' KXL Pipeline Route Because it Still Crosses and Endangers the Ogallala Aquifer

The comments made by farmers and ranchers from 'Bold Nebraska' who were arrested Wednesday after joining the Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraska Farmers Union and many others outside the White House in protest against the Keystone XL pipeline are very informative. They show clearly that the farmers and ranchers of Nebraska have not been hoodwinked by the meaningless re-routing of the damned Keystone XL pipeline or the approval of the new route for the pipeline by Nebraska's Republican Governor.

As one letter from a Kearney, Nebraska rancher, Amy Schaffer, to the Kearney Hub newspaper titled 'Why I oppose pipeline' says in part," I stand with my dad and the many other Nebraskans who have become guardians of the Ogallala Aquifer for the next generation of Nebraskans. I stand with all of the Nebraskans who have been misled, misrepresented, misinformed, taken advantage of, and used by TransCanada. My heart goes out to each and every one of these people and I will continue to be their voice and stand with them until the bitter end. The people will prevail. We will win and we will defend the future of Nebraska, the Ogallala Aquifer."

The 'new route' will still cross the Ogallala Aquifer and will still cross the environmentally sensitive sandy soil around the Sandhills. The 'new' route avoids the Sandhills of southwest Holt County but it still crosses through northern Holt County, where the soil is often sandy and permeable. In some parts of the new corridor, the groundwater lies so close to the surface that the pipeline would run through the aquifer instead of over it. The 'new' route is a public relations gambit by the oil and pipeline industries designed to re-frame the issue long enough to give Obama the political space to approve it. But the bullshit gambit hasn't worked, at least in Nebraska.

Nebraskans, and many others, understand that the entire purpose of shipping the oil down to the Gulf is to refine it down there, and to export it - not to supply the US with oil, but rather to increase the profits of the oil companies. They understand that the Keystone XL will carry tar sands oil, which is far more corrosive and difficult to clean up than regular crude oil. Nebraskans know that the biggest objection to all these tar sands pipeline proposals, including the Northern Gateway Project up here in BC, is that the tar sands crap and the condensate needed to make it pump-able are a huge danger to both the surface and underground water supplies that all life, including yours and mine, depend on.