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Massive Oil Spill Not Expected to Influence Nebraska's Decision on Keystone XL
Author: Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch, Published on: 21 November 2017
UPDATE: The Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve the mainline alternative route for the Keystone XL pipeline through the state. The commission rejected TransCanada's preferred route...[C]ommission member Chrystal Rhoades said she was against the pipeline regardless of the route...and...was still worried about the environmental impact.... The Nebraska Public Service Commission [did] not factor in Thursday's 210,000-gallon spill from Transcanada's Keystone Pipeline, which leaked thousands of gallons of highly polluting tar sands oil on South Dakota farmland. That's because pipeline safety is a federal responsibility. Under a 2011 state law, the Public Service Commission is not allowed to factor in pipeline safety or spill risks.
...[T]he KXL, which will move more than 800,000 barrels of crude per day from Alberta, Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast via connecting pipelines. The pipeline will run through a dozen Nebraska counties...As the KXL's proposed route crosses the Ogallala Aquifer, a major underground deposit of fresh water, a spill could threaten waterways and drinking water sources. Opponents also cite the potential contamination and destruction of Native American land... “Nothing has changed at all in our defense of land, air and water of the Oceti Sakowin Lands," said Faith Spotted Eagle, a member of the Yankton Sioux Nation. “If anything it has become more focused, stronger and more adamant after Standing Rock."