For eight hours last night, Nebraskans at a public meeting in Albion shared their views on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — most of which were unfavorable. From Nebraska Watchdog:

An estimated 800 people filled a huge metal county fairgrounds building Tuesday night to talk about a proposed $7 billion oil pipeline that would be built through Nebraska en route from Canada to Texas. …

It was a sometimes rowdy crowd, as many opponents to the pipeline booed or applauded speakers — despite admonitions not to — while supporters of the project were less vocal. At times it seemed like boots versus suits, as many people wearing boots, caps and jeans — farmers, ranchers and landowners — testified against the pipeline while many pro-business and free market advocates and people who would help build the pipeline testified in favor of it.

The hearing was the final step in the state’s environmental consideration of TransCanada’s proposal of a new pipeline route. In October, Nebraska gave preliminary approval to the new plan, noting that it avoids the sandy region of the state over the Ogallala Aquifer. So if the pipeline were to rupture (ahem), the state suggests, the damage wouldn’t permanently destroy a critical water source. That would be an improvement.

A man holds up a container of oil and sand as he testifies at last night's hearing
boldnebraskaA man holds up a container of oil and sand as he testifies at last night’s hearing.

Unless you live near the proposed route.

People such as Bonny Kilmurry of Atkinson said the pipeline would threaten her land and water supply if the pipeline leaks into the aquifer.

“Water is our lifeblood,” she said. “We can live without oil. We cannot live without water.” …