Our son Jon who works with NRCS in USDA in Washington, D.C. asked me this afternoon what my position was on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Here is my response:
Jon: Keystone laid a 30" pipeline just a mile west of Seward a few years ago when I was on the City Council. We worked with them to get some special provisions since it passed directly under our pipeline coming in from City wells and was also within the immediate "zone of influence" of other City wells. They were most cooperative in meeting our demands. My observation during construction was that they did a very good job. I asked a farmer who raises corn if he could detect any difference over the line and he said that if anything, the corn was better. We had the Seward/York County Emergency Management fellow speak this noon at Kiwanis and I asked him if there had ever been an alert or any indication of a problem since the line became operational a few years ago and he said "No". He does meet with the Keystone people occasionally and visits their Pumping Station just north of Seward County in Butler where some safeguards are controlled. Now, with all of that said, United States has little to gain by the XL (36" line) being built. The jobs created will be minimal as are the tax benefits. They do provide a generous payment to the landowners for the easement and crop damage. I don't believe they should have the power of eminent domain and yet that probably is what will be necessary in a few cases. I don't understand the Environmental Damage in Canada with the mining operation but am sure it's questionable. However, If the mining is to be done, if they are going to transport the product to the Gulf Coast for refining, the pipe line seems to be a much better alternative than rail cars or trucks. I haven't heard the news this afternoon but expect the Senate to pass what has already been done in the House and the Bill will be sent to the President. I expect him to veto it, Congress to override the veto and the Keystone XL pipeline built.