Group plans wind turbine in Keystone route

May 31, 2013 at 6:03 AM

LINCOLN, Neb., May 31 (UPI) -- Opponents of the planned Keystone XL pipeline started a fundraising campaign to build wind and solar energy projects along the pipeline's Nebraska route.

The U.S. State Department is vetting millions of public comments to its draft environmental assessment of Keystone XL. Pipeline company TransCanada wants to build the cross-border pipeline to deliver heavy Canadian crude oil to southern U.S. refineries.

Jane Kleeb, director of pipeline opponent Bold Nebraska, said the group was joining other advocates in calling for the construction of a wind turbine and a solar-powered farm in the pipeline's path.

"If President Obama approves Keystone XL, he'll then have to then have to tear down these clean and locally produced energy sources to make way for dirty and foreign tar sands," she said in a statement.

Bold Nebraska, the Sierra Club and the Nebraska Farmers Union are organizing the fundraising campaign to build the projects. They said they need to raise $65,000 and volunteers to help with planning and construction.

It's not clear if the advocacy groups require state or federal permits for project construction. Keystone XL requires a U.S. federal permit to proceed with construction.

Supporters of the project said it would ensure North American energy security and provide a source of economic stimulus. Opponents say so-called tar sands oil is an environmental risk not worth pursuing.

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