Nebraska next week hosts a State Department meeting on a draft evaluation of TransCanada's planned pipeline from Alberta province. The review stated any environmental threat from tar sands oil, the type designated for Keystone XL, would be present with or without the pipeline. Rail deliveries of crude oil should be considered when weighing the project's national interest, however.
Pipeline opponent Bold Nebraska said that, despite a reroute, the pipeline would still run through sensitive ecosystems in the state that holds a key drinking water supply. The group added that tar sands may be more corrosive and thus more likely to cause pipeline spills.
"I am opposed to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route because it is directly over the Ogallala Aquifer. Therefore, I am asking you to disapprove TransCanada's pending permit request," the petition reads. "Do not allow TransCanada to build a pipeline over the Ogallala Aquifer and risk the potential damage to Nebraska's water."
The federal government needs to sign off on Keystone XL as a cross-border pipeline. Supporters say the project is good for the region's economy and energy security. Opponents like Bold Nebraska say the environmental risks are too great to ignore.