The sandhills are so fragile, long, but this worries me.

gandle(4 NE)September 30, 2011

But that isn't what worries me more. The XL pipeline co. from Canada wants to run a large pipeline from the tar sands in Canada to the gulf refineries. It probably is a good idea getting more oil from a trusted neighbor than from countries where we are tolerated only for money but seemingly detested otherwise, BUT, they want to run the pipeline across the sandhills which lie above the largest fresh water aquifer in the world. The Ogallala aquifer. It extends from South Dakota just about down to Texas but the main portion lies under the Nebraska sandhills. Thousands of communities get their water from this aquifer and I am concerned about a rupture in the pipeline. The owners say it can't happen because of the way it will be built but I seem to recall a number of pipeline breaks and the fouling of the water.

Plus, the sandhills are so fragile, most ranchers prefer to use horseback, planes or vehicles with huge flotation tires when they check the cattle or fences. A gash in the grassed over hills means the sand will start blowing and soon there is a huge blowout in the soil covering many acres that may take 100 years to grass over if ever. The pipeline company wants to tear up the grass and bury the pipeline and I'm not sure that any protestations from local groups or even the governor will do any good. It seems the O.K. will come from Washington and I'm sure they have our best interests at heart.

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Though many would see it as an eye sore, but I would prefer it to be built above ground as is the Alaskan pipeline. More expensive than burying it, but much easier to access for maintenance and repair.

Of course I would prefer it not be built at all, but I am pragmatic enough to know that until alternate energies can replace the tremendous amount of energy that we get from oil, it will be built.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 1:12PM
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My heart is breaking for us all, but especially for you. This is your home. I can hear your worry, and I am sorry.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 1:30PM
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I am concerned too, George.......on many levels. This surely smacks of another one of those 'done deals' where the affected are the last to know. There were numerous possible routes for this pipeline, but this one has been OK'd by the state department. Of course since this is coming to light, each entity involved seems to be saying the route was chosen by the other. Smoke and mirrors and emminent domain being use by a foreign country. Hello?

Here is a link that might be useful: Audobon article

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 2:13PM
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gandle(4 NE)

Forgot to mention that the sandhills cover 3/8ths of the state. Yes it is possible to detour the line east to the loam soils where they can repair themselves readily but the company says it would cost many more millions. How can you put a price on an ecosystem that began shortly after the ice age and even today is a viable system where a very large percentage of your beef begins and comes from.

As to Michaels suggestion that it be built above ground, it has been discussed but even then the supports for the pipeline would scar the very fragile soils.

Now, I'll get of the soapbox but I really feel deeply about this and if it would do any good would go to D.C. to help argue the case, problem is, I may be voluble but wouldn't stand a chance against someone hired for the company.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 2:17PM
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I'm getting on my own soap box about this issue.

Mr. gandle goes to Washington.
I think you can hold your own no matter where you go gandle and I centainly think you would know what you are talking about if/when you get there.

Now, I don't know about the sandhills, but I have defenite opinions and some facts about the oil companies. It has been reported that the oil companies have made record profits in the last years and that they have been given tax breaks. They have tons of money. Now they want to build the pipe line through the sandhills instead of the "loam soils" in order to save "many more millions".
It is clear the with the oil companies it's all about money and with you it's a concern about the sandhills.

Yes, we need the "friendly" oil, but it does not have to be at expense of the sandhills, there seems to be other avenues.

If you go to Washington with your message, no matter what the "hired help" says, it will show in the record that you tried to save the sandhills. That will make a very impressive legacy for you.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 8:14PM
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No matter how much we protest and sign petitions, nobody listens. We are not to mention politics, so I don't, but I don't have oil-shares either.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 8:41PM
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