Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lee Terry forces rushed decision of toxic Keystone XL pipeline route through Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska

All Nebraska/Iowa House Republicans voted to fast track the toxic Keystone XL pipeline through the Ogallala Acquifer except Jeff Fortenberry. Clockwise from upper left: Steve King (5th district, Iowa), Adrian Smith (3rd District, Nebraska), Lee Terry (2nd district, Nebraska), Tom Latham (4th District, Iowa), Jeff Fortenberry (1st District, Nebraska)
His bill, HR 1938, which he laughably called the "North American-Made Energy Security Act," was approved 279 to 147. Surprisingly, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Lincoln was one of three Republicans who voted against it.

Fortenberry told The Omaha World-Herald:  “This is too serious. I don't think Congress should artificially cut off the time for that important analysis. Additional public hearings have been called, giving citizens the chance to speak on this. I also think that's important.”

As expected, Rep. Adrian Smith voted for fast-tracking the pipeline and against the interests of his Third District constituents who have been bullied by TransCanada over eminent domain and trespassing issues even though the company doesn't yet have a permit.

The bill would require the President to approve or reject the pipeline permit by 11/1/11,

Terry said: "“I'm vastly positive that any leaks that would occur are going to be minimal and not hazardous to the Ogallala Aquifer,” despite the fact that the original Keystone pipeline, to which the XL would be an extension, has leaked about a dozen times in its first year of operation.

On Tuesday, Terry's office was picketed over the issue.

On its website, Bold Nebraska recommended that Nebraskans email, Tweet or write on Terry's Facebook wall letting him know his pipeline bill was reckless.

The following reactions from leaders in Nebraska on Rep. Terry's bill to rush the pipeline were published by Bold Nebraska in its post about the issue:
John Hansen, Nebraska Farmers Union
"...Representative Terry and the House Energy and Commerce Committee want to force the State Department to make a decision without the necessary time to consider and process Nebraska and U.S. citizen and landowner input.  Apparently, they have little regard for the concerns of our landowners and citizens" Hansen concluded. 

Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska

"Rep. Terry's reckless bill will only bring regret for America's energy policy and Nebraska landowners.  Instead of encouraging a thorough, scientific analysis on the risks of the Keystone XL to the Ogallala Aquifer, the bill rushes the process.  Last summer's tarsands oil spill in Michigan showed that we cannot blindly trust foreign oil companies to be good stewards of our natural resources.  Rep. Terry should be holding companies like TransCanada accountable and protecting landowners not helping TransCanada bully their way through America's land and water. It is time Terry stands with landowners like Randy and not foreign oil companies like TransCanada. His vote today shows us whose side he is on and its not with Nebraskans."

Ken Winston, Nebraska Sierra Club

"This bill is a partisan attempt to support a foreign corporation and the profiteering of big oil companies. These Washington politicians evidently believe Hillary Clinton and State Department bureaucrats should make a decision about the future of America's most valuable resource, the Ogallala aquifer, without obtaining the necessary scientific input to protect this vulnerable resource. They should instead follow the reasonable recommendations of respected Nebrasa scientists to conduct studies and heed the request of a bipartisan group of Nebraska legislators for time to enact appropriate standards to protect our precious clean, fresh water for our nation's future."
Contact information:

Steve King:
1131 Longworth Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.4426
Fax: 202.225.3193

Tom Latham:
2217 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Toll Free:866-428-5642
Phone: 202-225-5476
Fax: 202-225-3301

Lee Terry:
2331 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-4155 phone
(202)226-5452 fax

Jeff Fortenberry:
1514 Longworth House Office
Washington, DC 20515
p (202) 225-4806
f  (202) 225-5686

Adrian Smith
503 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-6435
Fax (202) 225-0207

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