Free Markets, Free People
Keystone XL: Protest Was Never About “Sensitive” Lands
In Nebraska, where environmental groups had protested the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline because it would pass through the “environmentally sensitive” Sand Hills, they are now protesting a proposed solution as well.
The legislation is designed to restart a state review of a pipeline route that avoids Nebraska’s ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region.
Gov. Dave Heineman has indicated that he would sign the bill. He supports getting the Keystone XL pipeline built as quickly as possible.
But, say the environmental groups, this is just not acceptable:
Such eagerness was one of the concerns expressed by the groups. Under LB 1161, the governor would make the final decision on whether to approve a crude-oil pipeline route through the state.
Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska said that would be a clear conflict of interest because an agency under the governor — the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality — would oversee an environmental review of the new route.
Using Kleeb’s logic, Obama had no right to refuse it in the first place because the agencies that conducted the review process for the pipeline at a national level worked for him.
Regardless, the environmentalists intend to try to tie the law up in court:
Kleeb and others said they would prefer the pipeline regulation bill that was passed during last November’s special session, which would put the Nebraska Public Service Commission — an independent agency with elected commissioners — in charge of reviewing the Keystone XL.
Ken Winston of the Sierra Club said he expects a lawsuit to be filed challenging LB 1161′s constitutionality.
Of course Nebraska, as those who’ve followed this story know, is criss-crossed with multiple oil pipelines, none of which have caused the catastrophic environmental problems the environmental groups claim will come with the approval of this pipeline.
The obvious point, of course, is this has never been about “environmentally sensitive” areas. It has been about stopping this pipeline because it will be carrying crude that comes from an area environmentalists have decided produces “dirty” fuel and that we should be denied its benefit. For whatever reason they seem to think if they stop this pipeline, the oil sands in Canada they will come from will simply cease to produce. Of course that’s poppycock. Canada has already said it has plenty of other customers for its oil, to include China.
So this is the latest in the battle to deny this country a safe and secure fuel source for groundless practical reasons, but instead based in ideology which refuses reality for some asinine utopian fantasy world. They would deny this country the benefit of 800,000 barrels of oil a day because they have decided we shouldn’t have it.
Yet my guess is they’d also claim to be big proponents of “democracy”. The only problem, as poll after poll demonstrates, “democracy” firmly backs the construction of the pipeline by huge majorities.
So to hell with it. It’s off to Plan B as outline by Saul Alinsky – use their own rules against them.
Or, in other words, instead of letting the democratic process work and accept the results, tie it up in court.