Saturday, November 12, 2011

A "toxic slurry" of propaganda: The unprincipled demagoguery of BOLD Nebraska

Hunters and fishermen are true conservationists.  Always looking to take care of the environment and improve it, I have never seen a person that did not support sensible improvements and ideas with a positive outcome.  It is for this reason that after reviewing the article below written by Joe Herring I asked for permision to re-print the piece for this week's blog.  The article is re-produced with the permission of the author Joe Herring.  Mr Herring blogs at and I am a subscriber. 

A "toxic slurry" of propaganda: The unprincipled demagoguery of BOLD Nebraska

How many bites at the apple should one get before it can be said you've eaten your share? More than a year ago, the Nebraska Unicameral, as well as the permitting and governing authorities for utilities in this state, were given an opportunity to review the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. At that time, neither the Legislature nor the bureaucracy in Lincoln found anything troublesome about the project proposed by Trans-Canada.

After several months of the best environmental agitation money can buy, the unfounded hysteria over the supposed risk of wholesale contamination to our water supply has gained traction through simple repetition. The unprincipled propagandists of the environmentalist left have succeeded in entrenching a fantasy as fact in the minds of hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans.

BOLD Nebraska and other vocal pipeline opponents would like us to believe that the Ogallala aquifer is some sort of vast "underground lake." It is not. It is a formation comprised of hundreds of layers of rock, with the capability of holding water in quantity. 80% of the aquifer lies to the west of the proposed route, and at a considerably higher elevation. The unassailable fact is, any spill would have to defy gravity and "flow uphill" for thousands of square miles in order to create the type of contamination the opponents are claiming would result from a pipeline leak.

It has also been shown scientifically, that any spill would remain localized, partly due to the rock structure of the aquifer itself. Simply put, the oil could not travel any more than a few hundred feet in any direction before encountering a substrate barrier. The opposition is spending a great deal of time and money to obscure these facts from the public.
Elevation map for the Ogallala Aquifer

Trans-Canada cannot change the pipeline route at this late stage without invalidating the Federally-mandated Environmental Impact Study (EIS) that has taken more than three years and several million dollars to complete. The opposition knows this, and their plans rely upon it.

Should Trans-Canada alter the proposed route, the EPA would immediately rescind permissions already granted, and Federal and State law would then require an entirely new EIS be conducted for the new route, causing at best, a costly multi-year delay, but more likely, an abandonment of the project as a whole.

BOLD Nebraska knows that the majority of our citizens do not share their extreme anti-oil, anti-capitalist views, and would not support an effort to kill the project altogether. This is why their talking points have always suggested "re-routing the pipeline.” It is a BOLD deceit indeed, to suggest “re-routing” as a viable alternative, knowing full well that it will almost certainly result in the death of the entire project.

The question before the Legislature during this special session is not environmental, it is fundamental. Are we Nebraskans going to allow the environmentalist left to use demonstrable distortions and outright lies to exercise a "green veto" on a much needed project of great benefit to both Nebraska and our nation?

The existing EIS was based on sound science, uncorrupted by agenda-driven interest groups. Pipeline opponents are confident that any subsequent EIS could be politicized sufficiently to preclude approval of any new route. This is the ultimate stated aim of the opposition, and they are preying on the reasonable nature of everyday Nebraskans to accomplish this goal.

To make matters worse, should this Special Session produce a law that reneges on our approval granted more than a year ago, Trans-Canada has every right, and indeed an obligation to their shareholders, to sue our state for damages. Not to mention the other states who have already approved the project and committed funds in preparation for construction. As a Nebraska resident and taxpayer, I don’t want to be fiscally liable for derailing a $7 billion dollar project in furtherance of an extreme environmentalist pipe-dream of a world without oil. Once again, it is fair to ask, how many bites will Nebraska get at this apple before someone makes us pay for eating the whole thing?

We are risking exposure to unthinkable liability in order to further an anti-oil, anti-development, anti-capitalist agenda that is anathema to both our state and national interests. Contact your State Senator immediately and ask them to stand firm against the distortions and fear-mongering. Ask them to re-affirm Nebraska’s commitment to the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, for the sake of Nebraska and our nation.

Elevation map for the Ogallala Aquifer Credits:

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck. Hank

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