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March 15, 2011

Johanns: Additional Pipeline Analysis is Right Move

Nebraska Lawmaker Welcomes More Thorough Consideration of Aquifer

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today welcomed an announcement from the U.S. Dept. of State that they will conduct additional analysis on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. Johanns has voiced concern that the Federal review of the proposed pipeline has been inadequate, particularly in regard to the protection of the Ogallala Aquifer.

“This additional analysis is the right thing to do,” said Johanns. “The original review should have been complete, but I am pleased that the State Department has now acknowledged the need to look further into the implications of TransCanada’s preferred route. I believe there are better options to protect the Ogallala Aquifer and I look forward to the additional review. The analysis must fully consider the potential risks of a pipeline through sandy soil over the middle of the aquifer where the water table is so high. We have only one Ogallala Aquifer and we must protect it.”

“Without question, our country needs additional supplies of energy, yet here we are tangled up because of sloppy routing,” added Johanns. “We have many pipelines in Nebraska; in fact we have a Keystone pipeline which was built with almost no objection. I support pipelines. I am pleased that our state helps move much needed crude oil to refineries. My objection to the Keystone XL Pipeline stems from sloppy routing and incomplete analysis.”

Johanns requested a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in November 2010 to address the many concerns about the proposed route. Johanns has long-stressed the need for analysis of additional border entry points, including a route parallel to the existing pipeline and the potential benefits of a route that avoids the Sandhills.

A copy of the State Department’s announcement can be found here.

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