Nebraskans Protest Keystone XL Pipeline

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LINCOLN, Neb., Aug. 8 (UPI) — Opponents of a heavy crude oil pipeline from Canada planned through Nebraska want the state’s governor to get behind their campaign.

Canadian pipeline company TransCanada wants to build Keystone XL to supplement its existing pipeline carrying tar sands oil from Alberta. The current network terminates in Oklahoma and Illinois and the extension would end along the Gulf of Mexico.

Critics worry about the potential environmental impact of heavy oil from Canada. There have been several spills already on the existing Keystone pipeline.

Protesters gathered at the offices of Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman to express opposition to the project.

They said the planned route for the pipeline runs through an aquifer in the Nebraska Sand Hills. Critics with pipeline opposition group Bold Nebraska said Heineman has expressed concerns about the project but hasn’t acted beyond that.

Jane Kleeb, executive director of Bold Nebraska, was quoted by The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star as saying that if the governor has concerns, “then it’s only logical that he allows a special session to happen, that he gets behind a bill to move the pipeline out of the Sand Hills.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during a news conference last week with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, said Washington would make a decision on the permit before the end of the year.

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