Sen. Mike Johanns was one of the most consistent voices opposing TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline route through the Nebraska Sandhills. The Nebraska Sierra Club consistently supported his position on this issue. Now we ask him to again oppose the pipeline route, because it still goes through the Sandhills.
The new route has the same characteristics as the old one: sandy soils, water table close to the surface and a vast amount of water in the aquifer. The people living there always have thought of it as the Sandhills. They know the land is easily damaged and difficult to restore.
Many people do not realize the map being used to define the Sandhills was created by the Environmental Protection Agency. This is the same EPA that Johanns has described as a “rogue agency,” one that is “ignorant about agriculture."
Although we do not share Johanns’ view of the EPA, he should not support a decision about one of Nebraska’s most valuable and vulnerable resources based on a map from an agency that he reviles. If he makes a common-sense decision consistent with his previous positions, he will oppose the new proposed route.
Dick Boyd, chairman, Nebraska Sierra Club, Lincoln