Pipeline review

“Our main question is ‘Why now?'” said Ron Kaminski of Laborers’ Union Local 1140 of Omaha. “Weighing in against this project at the twelfth hour doesn’t help create jobs and puts the entire $7 billion project in jeopardy. The science has shown this route to be safe.”

Wow. Great question Ron.

You can say over and over and over again that any possible oil spill over the Ogallala Aquifer would be localized. You can point to the scientists who spell out that the a spill would not, could not contaminate the aquifer.

You can explain to people that the aquifer is not some giant cistern holding a pool of water, but actually an underground rocky, sandy river through which crude oil does not flow.

You can point out that oil spills much more commonly occur at river crossings and pumping stations. And you can point out that an alternate route for the Keystone XL pipeline would be longer and cross MORE rivers and streams which would be more of a threat for spills.

And you can point out that studies for this have been going on for three years and have already had hearings and debates and discussions and more studies and reports.

But that doesn’t seem to matter.

Because as soon as you ask Joe Walkingdownthestreet, “Hey! Do you want oil in your baby’s drinking water???!!!“, then all reason and studies and discussions and logic and science go down the drain.


What is easier to understand folks?

A discussion of groundwater gravitational flow through porous soil and associated limited viscosity.

Or a beanie baby with a cute caption attached to it that says, “Windmills not oil spills!

You see, Jane Kleeb and her band of oil haters do know this, and that is why they have been successful in rounding up support on this issue.

Yesterday in Lincoln, reps from TransCanada gave their argument for the pipeline to a number of state legislators and their staff. Also in attendance was Jane Kleeb. Others there noted that she sat, grouchy faced, Tweeting madly the whole time.

An example of her fast fingered notes:

This is jeff rauh (of TransCanada), equivalent to the spin guy on “thank you for smoking”

See, there is your gangbusters argument. Make fun of the guy delivering the message. Vilify him. Though why Jane didn’t just compare him to a combo of Hannibal Lecter and Jabba the Hutt, we don’t know.


But Jane, you see thinks this is all about “#winning“. Yes, she and Charlie Sheen both like that term.

We had a commenter come to Leavenworth Street say, “Jane and the Boldies win!

This is all a big freaking game to them, gang.

From the start of their charade, it begins with them arguing that getting the oil in Canada increases carbon emissions. That is their ENTIRE  argument.

From there, will an oil leak — which we have pointed out is much less likely than at say, a river crossing — over the aquifer affect the entire aquifer, or will it be localized?

Who cares! The enviros are winning!

Will the alternate, longer route cross more of said rivers and streams and in the end be more costly and potentially dangerous?

Who cares! Windmills not oil spills!

Will this pipeline which is needed, would provide hundreds of jobs and has been studied and studied and studied for over three years now be built?

Who cares!

Who cares, indeed.


  1. L-street Intern says:

    Man, SS, you need to let me review your posts before you put them out there. Strings of rhetorical questions and italicized statements can only carry you so far and can never be substituted for real analysis. I’ve got your back, man!

  2. Governor Kleeb says:

    SS, I know you are upset, but slow down and take deep breaths. The fact is the pipeline will be built. With oil around $89.00 a barrel this will get built and built the right way. The fact is we the people in Western Nebraska do not want the pipeline built under the Aquifer. It is too important to us. The people spoke and the Governor listened.

  3. So the people in Western Nebraska are worried about a pipeline through the eastern part of the state which as absolutely zero, nada, nilch chance of contaminating their part of the aquifer?!

    [*sarcasm*] WINNING! [/*sarcasm]

  4. Governor has made a big mistake says:

    Governor has made a serious strategic flaw. If you give Jane an inch, she will want a mile. He has now put himself in the position of having to stop the pipeline.

  5. Oh Mander says:

    An entire post that vilifies those that oppose the pipeline – half of which is devoted to a relatively powerless fringe activist – and there isn’t a single mention of our Republican Governor or our Republican members of Congress that oppose the pipeline. I get it SS, you’re a Republican and don’t want to attack one of your own, but you’d think that your time and energy would be better spent engaging those that actually have the power to do something about this rather than offer the same tired criticism about someone that you yourself say has little to no influence. Sack up and call out our elected officials if you think they are wrong.

  6. general says:

    yesterday in the meeting with legislative aides there was a question or atleast a statement from Jane Kleeb that said something to the effect that “you have studies and I have studies that indicate this is a bad project” to which the TC spokesman said, “The difference is that the studies we refer to are the studies that were conducted by the federal agencies that oversee the project”. Those studies have said that the Ogallala will not be damaged. The difference between science and emotion. It is a shame that the Governor and Tony Fulton listen to emotion and not science.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is there any financial gain to those in the eastern part of the state?

    How is it a dangerous chemical is okay in the populated area of the state?

    Is there any financial gain……oh asked that already.

    Why now?

    Is there a financial…….

  8. A Westerner says:


    Out here in the west we know damned well where they’ll get the water they need in eastern Nebraska when the pipeline leaks and taints the aquifer. We fought like hell 30 years ago to prevent the morons in the Legislature, from eastern Nebraska, from selling OUR water to a group that wanted to build a coal slurry pipeline. We’re not looking forward to you S.O.B’s obscounding with our water after you’ve allowed a Canadian oil company to taint yours. I hope you like the taste of oil and sewage, because that’s all that you’re going to have to drink if they polute the Ogallala.

  9. Lizzie says:

    Jane Kleeb is an idiot. Jeff Rauh is a prince of a man who never stoops to conquer. Bruning has skin in the game; one of the holdouts is a relative or close relative. I promise.

    Sweeps, you are awesome.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Anyone out there in SS land know who the characters were in the radio-active dump site debacle. I had heard some of the same peeps are involved with the Pipeline deal now. BUT I’m not so sure, just wondering………..

  11. Westerner, it might enlighten you to know that, for folks living in Lincoln and Omaha, most of our water is Platte River water that’s infiltrated into the aquifer below…but I suppose you think the Platte water is yours, too.

    BTW, while I’m a big ag supporter, I’ve seen what you folks in western NE (the area, not the town) have done with “your” aquifer….polluted it with nitrates and other ag chemicals, and pump it so heavy that streams run dry. You’re not all sunshine and flowers out there.

  12. Kortezzi says:

    Grundle King wins this argument on facts and logic.

    But scare tactics carry the day with Heinemann, Johanns, Fulton, and others who should know better. Pretty pathetic.

    The Boyd County low level radioactive waste site would have been very safe and employed many Nebraskans if Ben Nelson hadn’t illegally pulled NE out of the multistate compact (which resulted in a huge lawsuit against the state, which we lost). There’s a real risk TransCanada will sue for the right to build on it’s preferred route, over private land where easements have already been negotiated. Gov Dave better put some contingency money in the AG’s office to build a legal defense.

  13. RWP says:

    OK, I’ll criticise the state GOP.

    The tea party movement was anemic in this state. If our GOP were actually conservative, we would not hove a marginal income tax rate near 6%. Neither Johanns nor Henieman is an any sense a limited goverment conservative. Neither has the remotest idea of how to rebuild America’s standing in the world.

    I still think this pipeline will be built, but only because of the venality of the Obama administration, which is desperate for an initiative they can proclaim is pro-business and will alienate only a small subgroup that will never vote Republican anyway.

  14. A Westerner says:


    From your response it looks like the logical thing to do might be to regulate the use of some ag chemicals and restrict some uses of the aquifer. It sure as hell doesn’t make sense to pour nitrates in at one end and oil at the other and expect any kind of positive outcome.

    Ground water and surface water constitute a single system, so the Platte isn’t an unlimited source of water either. It will dry up just as surely as the streams have if the over pumping continues. Presently in Nebraska the counties pumping the most water out of the Ogallala aquifer are Adams, Clay, Fillmore, Hall, Hamilton, Merrick, Phelps and York. (None of those counties are in western Nebraska for the geographically challenged.) The Platte runs right through those areas, and every drop they pump out of the Ogallala has an impact on the Platte. Every gallon they dump on their fields lowers the level in the river and pushes a little more of those ag chemicals back into the aquifer.

    Crazy Jane and her bunch are against any pipeline, but they’re no crazier than the ones who will accept any pipeline route. The state department’s bogus report implies that an alternative route will create other areas of risk, and a longer route will mean more risks. If Keystone is required to build their new pipeline next to their current pipeline it will create a much shorter route through the United States, creating fewer risks in the U.S. and Nebraska. And all those increased risks will be in Canada. Since Keystone is supposed to be a Canadian company it’s only right that the Canadians shoulder the risk.

  15. Macdaddy says:

    Heineman screwed the pooch with this pitiful decision. He can certainly kiss any national aspirations he had goodbye. Shine some flashlights at his house and he folds like Obama. Oh, wait. So far Obama hasn’t folded. The poster at 10:24 was right. Heineman now owns the responsibility to stop the pipeline. You’re on your own, Guv.

  16. Just Sayin' says:

    So, we are to believe a government analysis of what having Canadian tarsands leeching into the Ogallala Aquifer will or will not do? Is that the same government that told us that open air testing of nuclear devices back in the ’50s would do no harm? Is that the same government that allowed all kinds of pharmaceuticals to create generations of deformed or mentally fragile babies? Is that the same government that generated utterly false information to convince us to send the flower of our youth to bleed and die in foreign lands so that the military-industrial corporations would profit?
    Do you catch my drift?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Jane’s favorite words are “lying” and “liar.” On 8/31 just hours after the Governor announced his support for moving the pipeline route, she tweeted, “Heineman is lying on KFAB right now.” Yesterday when she crashed the TransCanada briefing for legislative staffers (don’t these people have security by now to toss Jane out on her butt?) she tweeted that the TC guy was “lying.” She’s like the kid on the playground who nobody likes because she’s constantly attacking and bad-mouthing others. What in her upbringing makes her so ill-mannered? Her mother calls her “Midget” on Facebook and tells her to be careful as if being a big mouth enviro wacko is a dangerous job. It’s not like Jane is putting herself in harms way when she lets other Nebraskans get arrested but retreats after sitting in like she’s going to get arrested. Hmmm, spoiled rotten little girl, spoiled brat adult, still throwing tantrums until she gets her way. Brings her attention and the publicity she craves. I wonder how the Governor feels when Jane calls him a liar just hours after his support for her position.

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