Democracy is challenging. Remember when the U.S. State Department was called out when it hired Cardno Entrix, a TransCanada contractor, to draft the environmental impact study? An impartial review it was not.
Legislation is challenging, too. Remember when Sen. Jim Smith, Nebraska chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council and sympathetic with TransCanada, proposed LB1161 to exempt TransCanada from the laws passed during a special session of the Nebraska Legislature?
That is how LB1161 created special provisions for TransCanada. That is how the Department of Environmental Quality deck was stacked against concerned Nebraskans. That is exactly how HDR Inc., with close ties to TransCanada, got the nod to conduct the environmental impact study. The governor and the DEQ learned that trick from TransCanada's insider tampering with the U.S. State Department. Impartial? No! Immoral? Yes!
The governor's rubber stamp approval on such a biased report defies reason.
Because the constitutionality of LB1161 is being challenged in the courts, his decision now seems politically wrong and a bit premature. Hopefully the courts will reason in favor of Nebraska landowners and the Ogallala Aquifer.
Opponents are asking Gov. Dave Heineman to live by his earlier promise to stop the Keystone XL pipeline if it passes over the Ogallala Aquifer in areas where groundwater tables are high. The current route is not a sustainable solution and puts Nebraska's economy and environment at risk.