By Neela Banerjee, Inside Climate News
Rushing rivers have exposed once-buried pipelines before, leading to oil spills. With climate change exacerbating flood risks, Keystone XL critics see dangers ahead.
NAPER, Nebraska — Standing on the banks of the Keya Paha River where it cuts through his farm, Bob Allpress points across a flat expanse of sand to where a critical shut-off valve is supposed to rise from the Keystone XL pipeline once it’s buried in his land. The Keya Paha flooded several weeks ago, and when it did, the rush of newly melted water drove debris, sand and huge chunks of ice deep inland, mowing down trees and depositing a long wall of ice 6 feet high and 30 feet wide across Allpress’s property. “It would’ve taken out their shut-off valve,” Allpress said of the river flooding. “Right where they propose to put it at. And it wouldn’t have been a good thing.” Read more here.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
What the historic Midwest floods look like from space — and from the ground, by Vox. “This really is the most devastating flooding we’ve probably ever had in our state’s history,” Nebraska’s governor said.
12 excuses for climate inaction and how to refute them, by Eliza Barclay & Jag Bhalla, Vox
There’s a reason why the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has successfully goaded powerful politicians into long-overdue climate action in just six months. Fortunately, Thunberg is just one of many great minds helping us summon moral clarity to address the tricky problem of framing the climate crisis.
By Doug Hayes and Ken Winston, Compass
It’s been a long road in the fight to protect our land, water, communities, and climate from TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Right now, a focus of the fight is what is happening in the courts, where Sierra Club and our allies are continuing our work to stop this terrible project.
In November, the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) dealt TransCanada a major setback by rejecting the company’s preferred route through the state and instead approving an alternate route. Though an outright rejection would have been the best outcome, this was still a victory for our side. TransCanada had previously called the alternate route unworkable, and the PSC’s decision creates new legal issues, raises new environmental review questions, and affects a whole new set of landowners who have not agreed to let TransCanada build on their land. Click here to continue reading.
Photo: Nebraska landowners and supporters celebrating completion of a Solar XL project.
Solar XL – Scroll down for photos of projects.
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UPS adds battery energy storage for 118 electric vans in UK, Green Car Reports
By Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska
Landowners, Tribes, Bold and other official intervenors now have the option to within 30 days file an appeal in the Nebraska courts of portions of the PSC’s decision, to ensure that property rights, cultural and natural resources receive maximum protections. Separately, intervenor parties may also petition the Public Service Commission for a rehearing within ten days of the decision.
As landowners, attorneys and other intervenor parties consider legal options, Bold Nebraska has announced an expansion of the Solar XL project, and will continue crowdfunding to build additional solar installations with landowners in the path of Keystone XL.
Read the entire release.
About Solar XL
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
- Lincoln Journal Star: Nebraska OK’s Keystone XL pipeline, but not its preferred route. Nebraska regulators have approved TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline, but not its “preferred” route through this state — raising questions about whether the company will continue to pursue the project.
- Omaha World-Herald: Controversial Keystone XL pipeline route across Nebraska is approved, but hurdles likely remain. The decision, while giving the Canadian firm a route across Nebraska, raises many questions. One is that about 40 new landowners, along the 63 new miles of the alternative route, must be contacted to obtain right-of-way agreements for the underground pipe. Some major oil companies have pulled out of the tar sands region in recent months due to a worldwide glut of oil and the higher cost of turning the tar sands into synthetic crude.
- Chicago Tribune: Nebraska panel approves alternative Keystone XL route. Jane Kleeb, director of the pipeline opposition group the Bold Alliance, said her group believes TransCanada will have to seek another federal review of the route, a process that would add even more years to the timetable. The mainline alternative approved Monday includes 63 miles of new pipeline that hasn’t been reviewed by the federal government. Opponents are expected to appeal the Nebraska commission’s decision in a state district court, and the case is likely to end up before the Nebraska Supreme Court. The commission was forbidden by law from considering a recent oil spill in South Dakota on the existing Keystone pipeline in its decision.