Thursday, September 29, 2011

Important Keystone XL pipeline hearing held in Lincoln; KMTV, Fox 42 and WOWT too busy to show up; only KETV does

ABC affiliate KETV, which takes news seriously enough to maintain a bureau in the state capitol, was the only Omaha TV station to do its job. CBS affiliate KMTV, NBC affiliate WOWT and FOX 42 were too busy chasing ambulances and shaking their Go Big Red pompoms to send reporters to the hearing, which involved hundreds of people invested in the biggest environmental debate in Nebraska in decades.

Tuesday's State Department hearing at the Pershing Center in Lincoln was the first of two in Nebraska; another in Atkinson will be held Thursday. Only 33% of Nebraskans support the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline route through the Ogallala Aquifer. KVNO reports the following:
“Whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting, and we are in a fight for our water. TransCanada is in a fight for more profit,” State Senator Ken Haar said to boos and applause. “It’s the water we drink; it’s the water that enables our agricultural economy; it’s the water that is more valuable than oil.”
The North Platte Bulletin reported that droves of opponents attended the hearing; the paper's headline was "Pipeline public hearing: Resounding 'no'

The paper noted the attendance of 12-year-old Della Wilson of Bellevue:
“At 12 years old, I don’t belong to a clique or a political party, but I believe this is wrong. Your decision will affect me, my children and my grandchildren. Oil and jobs are important, but they are not required to sustain life. Water is.”
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman preposterously continues to question whether the state has the authority to mandate an alternate pipeline route, even though both the Congressional Research Service and TransCanada itself say it does. As late as today in the Omaha World-Herald, Heineman was still passing the buck to the State Department, saying that the best way to affect the route would be for it to reject a permit TransCanada Inc. Heineman continues to refuse to call a special session of the Unicameral to pass pipeline regulations, of which Nebraska has virtually none.
Public comments will be accepted by the State Department until midnight EDT on Oct. 9. Comments may be emailed to Or, mail comments to: Keystone XL Project NID, P.O. Box 96503-98500, Washington, D.C. 20090-6503.

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