He said it “does not take a PhD” to form that opinion.
He has asked, “Why risk a leak there?”
Well, we want to confront those questions, and then try to figure out why the Governor has turned a 180 on this issue and called for a Special Session on the pipeline. Mainly by asking him a few questions.
First, Governor, we would like to know Who are your experts?
Who has told you that the route through the Sandhills is worse than the route to the east?
And we aren’t talking about landowners who have been stirred up in a NIMBY frenzy by the lady who you said shoots her mouth off.
The experts at TransCanada said the proposed route is the best one. OK, we are guessing that you figure they can’t be trusted, so screw them, yeah? Fine.
How about the United States State Department via their Environmental Impact Statement, which said the straight route was the best out of EIGHT other choices? That’s no good either? Well, we’re sure you can find someone has some reason why that study is no good.
So, we go back to UNL hydrogeologist, Professor Jim Goeke.
He has been drilling wells in the Sandhills for 35 years. THIRTY-FIVE years. He has forgotten more about the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer than the rest of us can probably ever hope to know.
And, oh yeah, Goeke is a landowner in the Sandhills.
So here is Goeke speaking about the route:
So again, Governor:
Drilling wells for 35 years…
…says the route is safe.
What are YOU basing your statements on? Common sense?
Here’s some common sense: Someone suggested that we put a few hundred people in a 975,000 pound steel box, serve them dinner and a movie and launch them into the air across the state.
Now what sort of nonsense is that? Well until you talk to an aerodynamics expert about why a 747 can fly, that sounds pretty nuts.
And have some of them crashed before? Yup, some have. But only Rainman stands at the gate waiting for that lone Quantas flight to take him where he needs to go. Others listen to experts who have actual experience in the field on the subject — i.e. a pilot, instead of just a passenger, if we want to extend the analogy.
Point being, we keep hearing about why there should be a special session, and whether a bill to move the pipe would be constitutional, and what the President may do, and on and on. But we have YET to hear a statement, based on science, why the pipe would be better in another place.
And please don’t point to Professor Stansbury, because his report only proves the point that if you DO want to keep the pipe, you are better through the Sandhills. He points out that spills are more likely at river and stream crossings, and the danger of oil flowing downstream.
And guess which route has more river and stream crossings — as well as being longer? The eastern route, of course.
So we have no idea how you, Governor, have reached this point. Just a few months ago, you were the voice in the wilderness asking people to ignore those who bang on drums and wave flashlights. And then you caved to those exact people?
Do you feel that it is the will of the people to move the pipe? Well, there are definitely those who say NOT IN MY BACK YARD! And they have been whipped into a frenzy. But we always figured that you were the one who could spend some political capital to calm those folks down and explain it a little better.
Instead we have heard you say things like, “we know this pipe is going to leak! All pipes leak! It’s just a matter of when!” — using a very, very similar argument by a self-proclaimed nutritionist we know.
And then there was the throw-away line in your presser yesterday that the Labor organizations want it because of the “short term” construction jobs associated with the pipeline. Now there is an interesting hit: “short term”. Heck, why would workers want to build a skyscraper? Or auditorium? Or house? Those are just short term jobs.
But more than that vein of argument, was the cheap-shot lingo of “short term jobs”, that we have come to expect from those with “Garage Bands, NOT Tar Sands!” bumper stickers. Not from the guy who took down Tom Osborne and scared off every Democrat in the state.
We are trying to figure out where you are on this Governor. Because there are some very basic questions you have not answered. And that is not like you. We expect reason and analysis. Not lines that belong on the back of a VW Microbus.
We have seen you as the leader of the state of Nebraska for a number of years now, Governor.
But now we just have no idea where it is you are leading to.
Or frankly, why.