Proposed Pipeline Runs Through Nebraska Aquifer

By: Dennis Burke Email
By: Dennis Burke Email

The Unicameral Natural Resources Committee heard from natural resource experts, taxpayers and pipeline officials about a proposed Keystone pipeline that would run through the Nebraska sandhills and above the Ogallala Aquifer.

The company that would build an run the pipeline, TransCanada, insists it would be safe.

Robert Jones , the vice president of TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, says, "For certainly decades to come, this country's going to import tens of millions of barrels every single day. And right now they import alot of those barrels from Venezuela and from other foreign offshore sources. We can reduce that dependency by importing more oil from Canada.".

But the location of the pipe has some people concerned.

The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the world's largest underground water tables.

It runs under eight states, from South Dakota to Texas.

It runs beneath almost the entire state of Nebraska.

But, the vice president of TransCanada Keystone Pipeline believes fears are unfounded.

"If we look at pipelines, we've been building pipelines for almost a hundred years, it is not new technology. And actually, their safety record is fantastic. It is the most safe way, and most efficient way to move hydrocarbon products.", says Jones.

Local farmers worry about a potential crises, due to the pipeline's proposed location above the aquifer.

Len Schropfer, a farmer and landowner says, "It's immoral, it's stupid, it's wrong, wrongheaded. You'd have to be crazy to do it. Either crazy or an international corporation that simply doesn't care about anything called the environment, farmers, ranchers.".

Despite the unease among farmers and ranchers, the decision to offer TransCanada a permit is still a ways away.

State senator Annette Dubas, representing district 34, says, "That's a federal decision, and I know people don't like to hear that. But the permitting is at the federal level. I know our federal delegation is in regular contact with the agencies that are dealing with the permitting, I have no idea where that permit process is right now.".

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