The approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline by the Trump Administration earlier this year brings both protests and questions to Nebraska. As one of six states impacted by the 1,200 mile, $8 billion pipeline, many Nebraskans are rightfully concerned for the state’s fragile ecosystems, farmland and the Ogallala Aquifer, which is the main water supply for the Great Plains.
The anticipated pipeline that TransCanada wants to build would carry crude oil from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, where it would connect with an existing Keystone Pipeline and would take the oil to refineries located on the Gulf Coast.
Nebraskans such as University of Nebraska-Omaha freshman John Bruce are attempting to raise awareness on the potential risks of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Bruce works with Bold Nebraska, an organization that, according to their website, is “a citizen group focused on taking actions critical to protecting the Good Life.”
Bruce said college students are a strong group to become involved with the protests because many are interested in politics.
“So far I haven’t heard anyone who is for the pipeline,” Bruce said. “Water is one of those things where it’s a nonpartisan issue so it’s not a very favorable thing across the state.”
The Trump administration has assured the public that the pipeline is a money-generating, environmentally-safe venture. President Donald Trump also assured the public that the pipeline would be built with American-made steel, a guarantee that will not be kept.
To his credit, Trump has kept his promise to pursue job generating ventures. It is unfortunate he has done so by bulldozing through policies set in place to protect the environment, especially when the potential economic advantages of pursuing clean energy could benefit both the economy and the environment.
The idea of clean energy combined with economic growth is not too good to be true, but the Trump administration is pushing that potential further out of reach.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission is the only thing that obstructs TransCanada’s building the Keystone XL. The company still needs a permit from the committee.
Public hearings held by the Nebraska Public Service Commission regarding the fate of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s route through Nebraska are scheduled.