Nebraskans Don't Like the Pipeline
When TransCanada said its $7 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas would pass about two miles from this tiny town in central Nebraska -- crossing 92 miles of the state's ecologically sensitive Sand Hills and parts of the vast Ogalla Aquifer -- it stirred opposition throughout the state.
But few are worried about the Sand Hills or the Ogalla - except the WaPo.
Political boundaries crumbled as the pipeline proposal united Nebraskans across party lines and divided them within. Ultimately, it became a political litmus test in the presidential race. Its route riled Nebraskans who fear water contamination and resent the ability of a corporation -- especially a foreign one -- to wield the right of eminent domain.
I bet a lot of property owners don't care for eminent domain. Even though you are supposed to get "fair market value".
So when President Obama rejected TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline proposal, saying his administration needed more time to weigh the environmental impact of the route through Nebraska, he was practicing his own version of "triangulation" politics, playing to environmental groups and making common cause with people in a solidly red state. "I was really impressed with that," Bernt said of Obama's decision in January. "He showed more backbone that I thought he had."
I had to leave that part in. Maybe Champ can use it in his campaign.
At the same time, Obama must tread carefully in an election year in which Democrats as well as Republicans are seduced by the promise of jobs -- even if it may be an illusion.
| Refusing to make a decision equals more backbone? What an odd definition. One wonders if Mr. Bernt is one of those legendary professional Man Of The Street types who too often people MSM reports these days...|
What about reducing oil imports? Isn't that a concern to the WaPo?
Is that a rhetorical question?
Deb Fischer, a state senator from a Sand Hills region and a favorite of the tea party, was among the legislators in Nebraska to vote unanimously against the pipeline initially, but she now supports it.
| Actually, the jobs have proved surprisingly real. For some this is a problem.|
Changing your mind is OK by me.
But she is attuned to the eminent domain issue, which rankles Nebraskans, violating their sense of propriety. In 2006, she introduced a bill that became state law to limit the effect of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2005 and restrict the use of eminent domain if it were for "an economic development purpose" or on agricultural land.
There was no mention of pipelines, however, which she now places in a different category. "I understand the feeling of people who face a similar thing whenever a road is built in an area or a transmission line," she said. "Would I want it? No. But that's what we do in the United States."
Asked about the extra greenhouse gases that would be emitted extracting the heavy oil sands crude that will flow down the pipeline, Fischer said simply: "I'm not going to get into a discussion of climate change."
Too bad, but that's why we have Democrats.
That, however, is where Kerrey starts. In an interview with the Omaha World-Herald, he said that climate change was a key issue that propelled him into the race.
On the other hand ...
But Kerrey also told the Omaha newspaper that he had not thoroughly reviewed the pros and cons of tapping Canada's oil sands. "It may be that that genie's out of the bottle already," he said, "and if you're down to a choice of summarily shipping it West and having it end up being sent to China or shipping it south and used by the United States, it's probably difficult to oppose it at this point. But I haven't reached an absolute decision on it."
Perhaps this suggests he can still be bought?
"Bob has taken the position that if they're going to build it, it is better to send [the Canadian oil] to the United States than to China," his campaign manager, Paul Johnson, said in an interview. "If the appropriate authorities approve it, that's fine with him."
About six in 10 Americans said the government should approve the pipeline while fewer than two in 10 oppose it, according to a Washington Post poll. Even among Democrats, 48 percent say it should be built; while 26 percent say it should not be built. Even among those who think the pipeline would cause significant environmental damage, there is a 39 percent to 42 percent split on whether it should be built.
Posted by: Bobby 2012-08-18