Written by Nick Olsen, ESLLC 2016-2017
You may remember the concern with Keystone XL Pipeline (KXL) back last year, but now that the initial concern has been forgotten, it’s time to reopen the story.
Last November President Obama rejected the pipeline on three stands. #1 The pipeline would not lower gas prices in America. #2 America’s energy security would not increase. #3 The pipe would not create long-term jobs. Before we go on, it’s important to outline a few more facts. A report from the Department of Energy concluded that KXL would have no effect on the amount of oil imported from Canada. Also, a State Department report predicted that 3,900 construction jobs, and 35 permanent jobs would be created, instead of the 28,000 Trump has somehow come up with. A common misconception about the pipe is that it will decrease dependence on oil from the east, but KXL’s goal is to increase exportation of oil. Tar sands crude oil will be transported from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf where it will be refined and shipped out. This primarily benefits Canada, but the movement has gained ground in the U.S. due to delusion.
These facts are important to know because Last month Trump signed over a federal permit to TransCanada Pipeline Co., allowing the continuation of line. The pipeline is now essentially free to be built, except for one last hurdle. Nebraska’s Sandhills.
These Sandhills sit over the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies water to the many farmers in the area. This is especially concerning to the locals who know that TransCanada has had at least two large oil spills since 2011, despite their assurance in environmental safety. About 90 farmers and landowners represent the last stand of activists who have been fighting against since it’s proposal in 2005. Their fight is justified by the land they own in the way of the pipeline. This group is arguing that because of the potential environmental hazards presented by the pipe, it’s an economic danger. Nebraska is the #4 exporter of agricultural products after California, Texas, and Iowa. If their water source was compromised by oil seeping through their loose sand soil, it could detriment their economy “bigly”.
By making the almost imminent effects of the pipeline known, this last hurdle has the potential to impose a withstanding effect on our perception of oil. It’s important to note that these farmers don’t only care about this issue because they’re the ones affected. Art Tanderup, a 160-acre farmer and landowner in Nebraska, stresses the importance of increased renewable energy sources, instead of uprooting century old family farms for the sake of Canada’s benefit. Although this issue has laid low in the news the past few months, it’s time to support the few who still have a direct say. It’s time to be vocal.