Expert witnesses filed testimony with the Nebraska Public Service Commission detailing the threats the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would pose to Nebraska’s natural resources and why the pipeline is not in the public interest.
Thomas Hayes, a research ecologist with decades of experience assessing impacts on water resources, testified that, “TransCanada’s application is filled with discrepancies and inconsistencies that lead to the conclusion their application for the current route should be denied,” adding that the pipeline “will significantly damage the state’s natural resources.”
Hydrology expert Joseph Trungale testified that, “TransCanada’s application should be denied because it would result in irreversible and irretrievable commitments of land and natural resources and depletion of beneficial uses of natural resources.”
Paul Johnsgard, one of the world’s leading authorities on whooping cranes, highlighted the threat the pipeline would pose to endangered whooping cranes. Dr. Johnsgard stated that because the pipeline’s proposed route overlaps with the cranes’ migration route, it is likely that transmission lines for pump stations needed by the pipeline would kill whooping cranes. He testified that the loss of even a single whooping crane could threaten their continued existence as a species, and that the pipeline poses “an unacceptable risk to this iconic species.”
“The expert testimony submitted proves what we have known for years: that the Keystone XL pipeline would be a disaster for Nebraska’s environment,” said Sierra Club Nebraska Campaign Representative John Crabtree. “The risks TransCanada is asking Nebraskans to bear so that they can ship their dirty tar sands through America’s heartland for export are nothing short of unacceptable.”
“The Public Service Commission has a deep responsibility to be accountable to the people of Nebraska over a foreign tarsands corporation,” said Jane Kleeb, President of Bold Alliance. “We are confident the commissioners will take the evidence presented by experts seriously, and not just take TransCanada at their word. We have seen TransCanada mislead Nebraskans about the risks of this pipeline for years, and we are confident the commissioners will do what’s best for Nebraska’s natural resources and property rights, which is to reject the Keystone XL route.”
The experts’ full testimony is available here.
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