Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman probably will approve the Environmental Impact Statement and rerouting of the Keystone XL pipeline to skirt the eastern edge of the Nebraska Sandhills as commonly recognized by the U.S. Geological Survey.
However, if and when he does, the underlying reason will not be in serving the long-term interests of the people of Nebraska or the nation, because the pipeline is not being constructed to serve the strategic interests of the state or nation. The pipeline is being constructed to serve the economic self-interests of the pipeline company.
No legislative assurances yet exist to guarantee one drop of the oil that is destined to flow through the pipeline ever will serve the social/economic interests of Nebraska or the nation at a cost less than can be gained in the global free and open market. If the people of Nebraska and the USA want that oil, they will have to pay for that oil in the competitive free and open global marketplace, and all appearances suggest TransCanada Ltd. will be allowed to use the power of eminent domain to assist in serving their -- not our or the national -- economic self-interests.
All depends on the values our political leaders and representatives consider most dear and important, and who has the most power and money to influence representative government.
Even as the United States currently is importing 25 percent less foreign fossil crude oil than eight or nine years ago, the price at the pump has not declined by the same proportion. Ever wonder why?
Stu Luttich, Geneva