Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ogallala Aquifer

Nebraska got a huge win today as President Obama announced that the Keystone Pipeline's route through Nebraska would be delayed as they researched new options. 
The reason this issue is so important to me is pretty obvious. For many of you, this may not be something you know anything about, so I'm here to fill you in.
The Canadian company, Transcanada Corp, is trying to build a pipeline to get oil from Canada to Texas. 
The proposed route was supposed to go directly over the Ogallala Aquifer. This aquifer is a shallow, vast underground water table that spans 8 states. These states depend on the water from this aquifer for drinking and irrigating farm land. 
In 2010, TransCanada completed a major pipeline — the Keystone — which runs from Alberta to Illinois. The company is now planning a second line, called the Keystone XL, that would run from Alberta to Nebraska with an extension from Oklahoma to the refineries on the Gulf Coast.
The Department of State calls the area that the proposed pipeline will pass over "environmentally sensitive." Being a Nebraskan, I would agree with this statement. Moving the oil to Texas is the main issue at hand for the pipeline, however I think people's health and safety should come before this. I applaud the Obama administration and hope that the new proposal won't scar this vital aquifer.
If you want to read more about this issue, NPR has a story HERE

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