Today, the Republican governor of Nebraska, Dave Heineman, urges the federal government to deny a permit to the Keystone XL pipeline because it crosses the Ogallala aquifer. He was quickly followed by a Republican Senator from Nebraska, Mike Johanns, supporting the denial of a permit.
The pipeline isn't limited to Nebraska. It'll first cross Montana and South Dakota before reaching Nebraska's aquifer and Sand Hills. Will Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus of Montana speak up on behalf of their state?
Tester, in particular, has highlighted pipeline safety following the Yellowstone River spill. He's consistently questioned pipeline safety in light of the likely impacts of a spill on Montana'a agriculture and recreation/tourism industry. The original Keystone pipeline is spill-prone. Representative Denny Rehberg, challenging Tester in 2012, supports the TransCanada pipeline, even as evidence mounts that tar sands oil will do nothing for US energy independence (pdf), but instead will be refined in the United States and shipped overseas. Will Tester agree with his opponent Rehberg?
The bold actions of Governor Heineman and Senators Johanns show that they're more concerned for the land and people of Nebraska than they are for partisan politics. Will Senators Tester and Baucus likewise put the people and land of Montana above partisan politics?