Debating the Pipeline – Monday post Part 2

So the State Department came out with their findings on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

Here is the nut of the report:

The alternative [along the existing Keystone pipe route] is about 234 miles longer than the proposed Project route and would affect about 3,200 more acres than the proposed Project route when considering the 110-foot-wide construction ROW, extra work spaces, additional contractor and pipe yards, and additional access roads over that distance.

Express-Platte Alternative 1 would also affect more wetlands, developed land, forested lands, rangeland and grassland, agricultural land, and federal lands as compared to the proposed route. It would also cross more streams and rivers and would extend across approximately 439 miles of the NHPAQ system as opposed to the 247 miles of the proposed route that would extend over the aquifer (see Figure 4.3.3-2). The alternative would cross approximately 31.9 miles of the Sand Hills topographic region as compared to 68.1 miles for the proposed Project.

In comparison to the proposed route, Express-Platte Alternative 1 would cross fewer miles of the Sand Hills topographic region. However, it would be substantially longer, have a greater area of impact, affect more areas of key resources, and would extend over more land underlain by the NHPAQ system. Therefore, the Express-Platte Alternative 1 would not offer an overall environmental advantage over the proposed route and was eliminated from further consideration.


That, friends, is a reasoned, scientific argument.

Here is what is NOT an argument:

The Sandhills are a treasure!
The Aquifer is special gift!
Corporations are evil!

Are you following?

Let us lay it out here, as we see it:

The report the Sierra Club pushed by the UNL prof talked about how a spill could reach Omaha or Kansas City and how awful it would be, etc. But he was talking about a spill at a river — which is where the majority of spills take place.

He wasn’t talking about the Ogallala Aquifer.

The UNL professor who DID talk about the Aquifer and any potential spill (in front of a legislative committee of Republicans and Democrats who were all allowed to question him) said:

“When people say the whole Ogallala Aquifer is at risk, they’re wrong.”

We paraphrase him, but much of that had to do with the Aquifer being a “river” not a “lake”, and any spill flowing “downstream”, and the flow being very, very slow.

OK, so where were we? Ah yes.

  • Main risk of a spill: at a river.
  • Those who say whole Aquifer is at risk: are wrong.
  • Rather take a shorter route than a longer route.
  • Proposed longer route crosses more rivers and streams, still crosses the Sandhills and also crosses aquifers.


Here is your main argument for not wanting the Keystone XL Pipeline:

The Canadian Tar Sands Oil is super bad for the environment, I don’t care if the oil goes to China and I think it is fine if America gets its oil from Iran and Venezuela because we will all be driving electric wind cars in the very near future — maybe next year! — and so who cares about oil.

And we will say this again: You can move the pipeline to another route and Jane Kleeb and her far-leftist liberal groups will still hate the oil and fight against it. The pipeline argument for them is just another way to stop ALL of the oil from ever being extracted.

To the rest who think the other route is better, and still want the oil in the pipe: We get your argument. We just don’t find it persuasive. And moreover, there has been very little argument to your argument.

And please leave the words “precious”, “treasure” and “special gift” for 2nd grade girls discussing unicorns.


(Didn’t want to jam together two very separate posts today, so see Part 1 here.)


  1. Mike says:

    When I heard that a change in the route would actually increase the risks of spills, it was really compelling. Interesting how that ‘better route’ increases the same risks that the Bold Nebraska folks are opposed to. It does seem that you’re right, the ‘safer route’ argument is a farce, they actually want no route at all.

    Too bad we get held hostage with people playing games like this. While they’ll say to the public, it’s all about protecting the ‘You’. In reality, Bold Nebraska propose anything to forward their agenda, even if their proposals would actually be more dangerous.

  2. Never left the Neb says:

    Go, go Team Bruning!

    Just had to get that in! On the pipeline? Jane sucks. She is out to destroy our economy just as she will destroy the Hastings School District. I wish she would get arrested in Washington. I feel like going there myself and instigating her into a fight just to get her arrested so she can live up to her promise.

    Then we can be rid of her on the Hastings School Board.

    Go, go domestic energy production!

  3. Mike says:

    NLTN (Never Left the Neb),

    Jane uses Hastings as a home base to do her liberal agenda work, I don’t think she stirs the pot at home as much there as she does for people elsewhere. I don’t get the sense that as many people in Hastings have the same sense of concern over Jane, than the people elsewhere. But I’m curious how her shenanigans in DC (and elsewhere) will impact how they feel about her.

    Please, don’t play her game of ‘instigating’ things. It’s annoying. Frankly, she uses flimsy reasoning and doesn’t base what she feels on solid ground. Just get her with the correct facts and sound reasoning. The people in Hastings are practical, they’ll see it.

    I’m certain, I’ll get that a bunch about being a ‘Team Bruning’. I am a person that looks at the field and sees Jon Bruning as the best candidate. I’ll be voting for Jon Bruning in the next election. But I’m not on the Bruning team. I’m a Nebraskan that is very unhappy with Ben Nelson, he let us down big time. I would like to see Ben Nelson replaced.

  4. Kortezzi says:

    This report ought to give Heinemann, Johanns and Fortenberry a solid basis for overcoming their expressed objections to the Keystone XL proposed route. I say “expressed” in hopes they don’t really believe the ridiculous doomsday scenarios painted by Bold Nebraska and the Sierra Club.

    I hope this trio is not just waiting to decide until the “hearings” in Lincoln and Atkinson, which are sure to be circusses. Listening to residents’ concerns is one thing – – but giving undue weight to irrational and emotional shrieking envirowackos like Jane Kleeb would be a serious mistake for these Nebraska Republican office holders.

    Kudos to Lee Terry for his bill to expedite the Keystone XL project approval.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It has been nauseating to watch Jane get away with claiming she is standing up for “our land, our water, our values” when nigh five years ago the only sandhills she knew of were those she kicked up on “her” Florida beaches. So save the “we” stuff. She’s a poser who has never owned land in the Sandhills and hubby’s familial connections to land ownership there don’t count. It’s about as genuine as the whole healthy school lunches tripe she foisted on the Hastings Schools, all the while being on the Kool Aid Board so she could ingratiate herself with the locals. Nothing says healthy like sticky, sugary Kool Aid. Speaking out of both sides of her mouth is what Jane does best and when she’s called on it she takes up the victim mantle. Dollars to doughnuts she won’t get arrested when she trots back to DC again. Maybe our State media will finally figure out she’s been playing them.

  6. general says:

    Finally we have sensible people talking the pipeline. It is based on science. Alternative routes have been examined and have been ruled out for several reasons. TC has over 95% of the sandhill landowners signed up for easements and over 90% of the landowners in the project…and no TC has not twisted their arms. The amount of landowners who have not signed up are around 5…think about that! 5 people who believe what they want to believe. Jane Kleeb is already talking about a ballot question…cant people see what she is doing to keep Bold Nebraska alive.

  7. Anon says:

    Does Jane realize that there are NADC reporting requirements for ballot initiatives too? Better get someone other than Jane to be Treasurer. Not to worry though, if the reporting is loosy goosey I’m sure NADC will give her a pass as they did with her blatant violations during her school board race.

  8. One more says:

    Jane is taking credit for getting Hastings Schools to offer healthy lunches. So they’ve added a salad bar which has been standard fare in most schools the past few years. Way to go Jane. No word on whether Kool Aid is part of the beverage menu.

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