TransCanada Pipeline Background and Resources
(Help Stop The Pipeline)
Nebraskans are speaking out and taking action to help stop the TransCanada pipeline. This page is meant to be a resource with various reports and background about this critical topic.We think the pipeline is a bad idea for our state, our land, our water and our economic activity. We do not want to see it built. We want to see the Emergency Response Plan for the current tarsands oil pipeline that is already in the ground in our state. The plan has yet to be released.Groups raising concerns and working to stop the pipeline in our state include Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraskans for Peace, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Audubon Society, Nebraska Common Cause, Guardians of the Good Life and Bold Nebraska.ActionsIndividuals can take action to help stop the pipeline. Please help spread the word!FLYER: We created a one-page flyer that gives a good overview of the issue and a call to action. This is a great flyer you can download and print--give to your friends, family and co-workers.SUMMIT: On July 21st, we held a statewide summit. The first hour was presentations by experts and the second hour was Q+A. (video coming soon, we apologize it is not up yet for viewing)PETITION: Sign the petition that we will send to state and national elected leaders at tinyurl.com/protectnebraska
.YARD SIGNS: Nebraska groups created yard signs, bumper stickers and t-shirts for Nebraskans to show their public opposition the pipeline. We had to order a 3rd batch or yard signs and bumper stickers, they can be picked up (after 9/1/10) at 1141 H Street, 3rd, Floor in Lincoln during the week from 10am-5pm or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org .LETTERS: Currently, we are focusing letters to Gov. Heineman. We would like to see the Governor release the Emergency Response plan for the current pipeline and have him direct our state agencies (e.g. Game and Parks, NPPD, Department of Environmental Quality,etc.) to submit comments to the State Department since Secretary Clinton has extended the comment period for state and federal agencies. Lastly, we think Heineman should require TransCanada to set aside a trust for any spills or other issues so our state and taxpayers do not have to pay for the clean-up costs.Governor HeinemanP.O. Box 94848 Lincoln, NE 68509Phone: 402-471-2244BackgroundTransCanada, an international company based in Canada, is trying to obtain a permit from the United States government to build a second pipeline in our state. TransCanada refers to this new, proposed pipeline as Keystone XL (the current pipeline in the ground already is called Keystone).The pipeline carries the most expensive and dirtiest form of oil, called tarsands. It is a think form of oil that requires many chemicals and high heat to push it through the pipeline.Secretary Clinton, because the pipeline crosses the US/Canada border, must approve the pipeline by granting a permit to TransCanada. Because of federal laws, Clinton must go through certain steps before she makes her decision, which includes various environmental studies and public hearings.Under the Bush Administration and under Governor Heineman’s administration, a TransCanada pipeline -- called Keystone -- was approved and is currently in the ground with oil flowing. That pipeline is NOT at capacity, so the obvious first question is why build another pipeline?If the new pipeline is approved, 1.1 million barrels of tarsands oil, the dirtiest form of oil, will be pumping through our state everyday. The current pipeline, when at capacity, will pump 435,000 barrels of oil through our land and water.We currently have no state laws that regulate oil pipelines. We have no trust fund set aside to help families if their land, water or health are affected. We have no Emergency Response Plan that has been made public. Nebraskans are, right now with the current pipeline in the ground, at risk and at the mercy of TransCanada if/when a leak, spill, blowout or anything else happens with the pipe. Additionally, numerous reports have cited increased rates of cancer at the source of the tarsands production in Canada.National Wildlife report on overview and dangers of pipeline: View PDFPlains Justice report on expense of pipeline: View PDFQuestions raised about potential increase in rates of cancer linked to tarsands: View ArticleCurrent NewsTv, print and radio in Nebraska and nationwide are covering the pipeline story closely.Some recent articles of notice are:KETV's investigative piece by Ryan LubyOne of the first Lincoln Journal Star articles on the pipeline by Art HoveyOmaha World Herald has also covered the pipeline extensively, articles are written by Paul HammelA new study on Tar Sands, which is the type of oil in the TransCanada pipelines, brings up the basic fact that the Tar Sands are dirty, expensive and cause cancer. The Tar Sands are so bad,banks are now saying they will not lend to companies who process Tar Sands.Public HearingsIn May 2010, The Department of State held a series of public hearings in Nebraska to get input on the draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) report. Nebraskans were able to get a copy of the draft EIS, ask questions and make comments that were all part of the official record. The Department of State is now going through all of those comments -- made in other states the pipeline is going through as well -- and must respond to all comments and questions. There is no timeline set on this process. Some think their report will be issued this Fall, others say it will not be ready until next year. At these hearings not one Nebraskan stood up in support of the pipeline. All comments made by Nebraskans were opposing the pipeline and/or expressing major concerns and asking many questions. One welder from Arkansas was at the hearings and made statements in support of the pipeline. His company got the contract to weld the current pipeline.The Nebraska Power Review Board met in June to grant permission to the Nebraska Public Power Department (NPPD) to build an additional 3 transmission lines to help support the proposed (not even approved yet) pipeline. The transmission lines will cost taxpayers $49-64 million dollars. TransCanada will pay Nebraska back (in theory) on a monthly basis. Governor Heineman has not made public how much TransCanada is currently paying the state in taxes for the current pipeline and how much the second pipeline would bring to the state.In July, NPPD held a series of public meetings to get input on the proposed new transmission lines. The lines will cost taxpayers $49-64 million and TransCanada is supposed to pay Nebraska back on a monthly basis.Blog post on the Nebraska Department of State public hearings: View PostDepartment of State EIS report: View ReportFarmers Union comments to EIS: View PDFNebraska Wildlife comments to EIS: View PDFNational coalition comments to EIS: View PDFNebraska and National Elected OfficialsNo elected official in Nebraska has officially stated they are opposing the pipeline.Senators Nelson and Johanns have both issued press statements stating they have questions. Additionally Reps. Smith and Fortenberry have as well. Rep. Terry has yet to make a statement. Senator Nelson and Rep. Fortenberry seem to be taking the most interest and action in this issue.The most comprehensive statement and action to date has been Senator Nelson. A PDF of his statement is below.Governor Heineman and Attorney General Brunning have both taken campaign contributions from TransCanada.State Senators Dubas, Dierks and Sullivan attended the Dept. of State public hearings. State Senator Ken Haar has attended several meetings and raised questions in public interviews about the pipeline.State Senator Fulton sent a letter to the Dept. of State asking a series of questions. A PDF of his statement is below.The State Senators that the pipeline goes through their districts include Sens. Deb Fischer, Russ Karpisek, Kate Sullivan, Annette Dubas and Tom Carlson.Fifty national Members of Congress have submitted an official letter requesting Secretary Clinton to conduct more studies and answer the questions about greenhouse gas emission related to the pipeline.Senator Nelson public statements: View PDFState Senator Fulton letter to Sec. Clinton: View PDFMembers of Congress letter to Sec. Clinton: View PDFMaps of the Proposed and Current PipelinesDept of State map of current and proposed pipeline across US: View the MAPTransCanada’s map of Nebraska and proposed pipeline: View JPGTransCanada’s map of the current and proposed pipeline across the US: View PDFAbout TransCanadaTransCanada has business dealings with numerous big oil companies worldwide. Their corporate bio says they build energy infrastructure for North America. TransCanada does not simply use our land to produce oil for the United States. In fact, they use North America land to process oil to sell to whoever is the highest bidder. They have also come under fire for skirting safety measures and using lower quality steel from China and India. ConocoPhillips now owns 50% of the Keystone pipeline (the current pipeline in the ground already in Nebraska).Press release about the partnership between TransCanada and Conoco: View Press ReleaseBP, TransCanada and Conoco partnerships on gas pipelines: Visit ArticleNews article on faulty steel: Visit ArticlePlains Justice faulty steel report: View PDFMore Info on Pipeline and Tarsands OilVisit the Plains Justice BlogVisit National Wildlife Visit the Sierra ClubRELATED ARTICLES:Heineman Allows TransCanada to Bully Nebraska LandownersPipeline RalliesTransCanada Pulls Waiver RequestPipeline Talks ContinueOil Spills Get Closer to Home
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