Sunday, September 18, 2011

Press Release: Current Keystone XL Pipeline Plans Bad for Nebraska

 For Immediate Release:
Contact: Randi Scott or Micayla Lee
Lindstrom for Congress

Current Keystone XL Pipeline Plans Bad For Nebraska

Omaha, NE - September 18, 2011-Energy independence and job creation are vital catalysts to our nation's prosperity, and in recent weeks we have seen some elected officials including my opponent, Lee Terry, vociferously advocate for the construction of TransCanada's very own Keystone XL Pipeline through the heart of Nebraska. By now, most people are probably familiar with much of the rhetoric surrounding the pipeline project, so I will not pretend to bore you with the mundane details. I am in favor of energy independence and job creation; however, there are many credible reasons to consider whether this project, as it is currently proposed, is truly in Nebraska's best interest such as:

1.) The Keystone XL Pipeline may deleteriously impact Nebraska's water supply and lead to environmental destruction. 2.) I question that the Keystone XL Pipeline will result in the creation of long-term jobs for the state. 3.) Our research does not support the claim that the Keystone XL Pipeline will lead to greater energy independence. 4.) Reasonable public officials have realized the potentially negative ramifications associated with building the Keystone XL Pipeline over the Ogallala Aquifer. TransCanada further argues that attempts to change the pipeline's course will adversely affect its bottom line, resulting in a 25 percent increase in construction costs. Since when do hardworking Nebraskans care about a foreign corporation's bottom line? One would think that, if the pipeline had to be built, re-routing its path would potentially mitigate irreversible damage to the Ogallala Aquifer. 

If this truly creates jobs for Nebraskans then prove it. After all, most companies in anticipation of opening their doors or breaking ground preemptively hire staff and employees. If the pipeline's construction is imminent, how many Nebraskans have been hired to date?

The time for true leadership on this issue is now. While most of Nebraska's Congressional team has thoughtfully called into question the Keystone XL Pipeline's merits, one stalwart has openly championed the interests of a foreign-owned corporation to the detriment of Nebraska residents - Lee Terry. Even Nebraska's chief executive, Governor Dave Heineman, has formally expressed his reservations with the Keystone XL Pipeline stating, In a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "I am opposed to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline route because it is directly over the Ogallala Aquifer. I am concerned that the proposed pipeline will have potentially detrimental effects on this valuable natural resource and Nebraska's economy."
In light of the four points mentioned above, Lee Terry still persists in his ongoing defense of corporate special interests over the Nebraska taxpayer. What is particularly troubling is that Lee Terry would take it upon himself to introduce a bill(H.R. 1938) to expedite the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline in an area that he doesn't even represent (i.e., the 3rd Congressional District). The fact that this week the President of National Petrochemical & Refiners Association applauded Lee Terry's efforts on the Keystone XL Pipeline further proves that special interests, not Nebraskans are the biggest benefactors of this project. Perhaps if Congressman Terry was not beholden to special interests, he would be able to see the metaphorical forest through the trees and realize that pushing the Keystone XL Pipeline is both bad policy and politics.