Gov. Dave Heineman
This is big news for the large coalition of groups, and individuals, fighting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Nebraska's Republican governor has written a letter
urging President Obama and Sec. of State Clinton to reject a pending permit application for the pipeline.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R) urged President Obama on Wednesday to reject a pending permit application for a controversial pipeline that would carry Canadian oil sands through his state.
[...] Heineman stressed that he is not opposed to oil pipelines generally. But he blasted TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline because it would cross part of Nebraska’s Ogallala Aquifer, which provides water for the state’s farmers and ranchers.
“Maintaining and protecting Nebraska’s water supply is very important to me and the residents of Nebraska,” Heineman said in the letter. “This resources is the lifeblood of Nebraska’s agriculture industry.”
Heineman’s letter lends a high-profile Republican voice to ongoing efforts by environmentalists, ranchers, public lands groups and many Democrats to scuttle the project, which would carry Canadian oil sands from Alberta to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
The Republican governor rejected the State Department’s final environmental impact statement, which said a pipeline spill would “affect a limited area of the aquifer around the spill site."
The State Department's rather blasé attitude toward the potential environmental impacts of this pipeline has been blasted by the opposition, including NASA scientist James Hansen, who called the report greenwashing. Hansen's argument is global, focusing on the global warming impacts that tar sands exploitation would create.
Heineman's objection is, rightly, local, and it's opposition that has stretched from Idaho and Montana, where the megaloads—massive trucks carrying equipment to the tar sands—threaten some of the most pristine waters in the lower 48, through all of the states where the actual pipeline will run.
Now that there's bipartisan opposition to the plan, the White House might start taking it a little more seriously. It's time that the president and his staff finally talk about the issue.
Don't miss the extensive coverage of the issue by the Daily Kos community.