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Writer says pipeline ‘dangerous’ PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:
I was disgusted by the dangerous and delusional ignorance from Senator Christensen in last week’s “Capitol Happenings” when he said:
“I support the pipeline…There are a lot of lines through our district and aquifer. Oil floats on top of water, it’s not going to go down.” What a simple and stupid statement! It shows his gross ignorance about the subject.
The proposed three foot diameter pipeline is going to carry marginally refined tar sand sludge under high pressure from Canada to Texas to be further refined. The material is not simply “oil.” It contains far more impurities than light crude. It contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury (which sink).
Even if the oil were pure, it emulsifies and scientists do not fully understand the interaction of spilled oil (bitumen in this case) and water, especially the water in vast aquifers such as the Ogallala Aquifer, the critical geographical feature of our state.
The proposed pipeline also uses untested technology with no guarantee of being leak or rupture proof or nonresistant to moving sand or earthquakes. No technology exists to clean an aquifer if an oil spill occurs.
Our Nebraska sandhills are far too fragile and our aquifer is much too crucial to risk their well being for the enrichment of a multinational company wishing to exploit us for their profit. It is not our oil or Canada’s oil. Oil does not belong to any nation; it belongs to the highest bidder in the world market.
Other objections to the proposed tar sands sludge pipeline are the extensive damage to wildlife, forests, groundwater and air in the U.S. and Canada in the mining, extraction and refining of the substance; the corrosiveness of big oil’s money on our political system; TransCanada’s threat of eminent domain to force the government to take land away from landowners; heavy Chinese investment in the tar sands of Canada; and the diverting of money and time away from developing modern, cleaner energy.
And on the subject of oil floating on water—next time you are at a wedding reception put one or two drops of Penzoil in the punch. The oil floats, but would anyone want to drink it? Don’t risk the water we use for drinking, watering our livestock and irrigation.
Learn more about the project at www.boldnebraska.org and let Senator Christensen know that we can’t risk destroying our aquifer, land, rivers and way of life on this foolish plan which benefits no one but a multinational oil company.  
Julie Chandler
Imperial