Center for Rural Affairs Opposes Keystone XL Pipeline Permit

Release Date: 

10/12/2010

Contact(s): 

John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org, Phone:(402) 687-2103 ext. 1010 or (563) 581-2867
Lyons, NE - Today, the Center for Rural Affairs announced the organization's opposition to a federal permit that would allow TransCanada Corporation to build the 1,980-mile Keystone XL Pipeline, a 36-inch pipeline that will carry up to 37.8 million gallons daily of tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and to the Texas Gulf Coast.
The new policy position for the Center came as a result of a vigorous discussion and debate about the issue and unanimous approval of a resolution by the organization's Board of Directors at their most recent meeting.

"America must focus on better approaches to securing the energy it needs by developing renewable energy, especially renewable approaches to fueling cars," said John Crabtree, Media Director at the Center for Rural Affairs. "We support developing clean energy resources that we have right here in Nebraska, like wind energy, not increasing our reliance on dirty, foreign energy that we have to pipe in from afar."

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that securing oil from tar sands and delivering it to U.S. refineries results in nearly double the greenhouse gas emissions as other oil delivered to U.S. refineries.

According to Crabtree, in the long-run, hybrid electric cars powered by renewable sources such as wind and low carbon biofuels will create more jobs and far greater economic opportunity in rural America while confronting the very real threat of climate change.

"TransCanada has demonstrated the same corporate tendency to cut corners as British Petroleum, tendencies that for BP resulted in the gulf oil spill and the debacle that ensued thereafter," said Crabtree.

"For example, TransCanada proposed using a thinner walled pipeline than is normally used at the pipeline pressures planned," Crabtree continued.  "While the company backed down from that plan in response to public pressure, the fact that it was even proposed demonstrates the company cannot be trusted to protect the precious land and water of the Nebraska Sandhills."

Crabtree further explained that the pipeline project has yet to be approved by the State Department and a number of organizations, individuals and elected officials have voiced concerns about the project moving forward, including 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who sent a letter in June 2010 to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging her not to rush approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

"Even though TransCanada has not received a permit to move the project forward, they are threatening to use strong-arm eminent domain tactics to force agreement with landowners who are not only skeptical about the pipeline, but are also not interested in having it run through their farm or ranch," concluded Crabtree.

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