Thursday, September 1, 2011

TransCanadian XL Pipeline

Seeing as how the media is f'ing it all up and trying to politicize the hell out of it I felt the need to clear up what's really going on.

TransCanada proposes to build an oil pipeline across the Ogallalla Aquifer. This is an aquifer that spans from Nebraska to Texas. I think it is the largest aquifer in the world. If not 'the' largest then certainly among the largest. It feeds the farm lands, cattle, people in all these states. These are states that sue each other over water rights. The water cycle is taught  at fairs held for the local children to see how it is cleaned, preserved and used here. It is precious.

It will be a unprecedented disaster if the pipeline pollutes this aquifer.

When I first heard about this proposed pipeline around Feb. or March and saw the route I thought "Are they serious? They can't be that stupid." When the pioneers came to Nebraska, they thought they would have to dig wells a hundred feet or more to get water. I read a story of a guy who took bets on how deep he'd have to go. Imagine his surprise when he hit water at around 20 feet!  This arid, dry grassland with flat water that routinely dried up had easily accessible well water! Not exactly nirvana, but a good thing anyway.

When I was 13 at a family reunion in Halsey, Nebraska, a relative told me they almost lost the sand hills when the ranchers first started out there. They didn't know how to take care of the grass lands yet and they almost lost it all to acres of sand. She told me that it was a delicate balance that they learned to work with to up keep. A DELICATE balance. And they are proposing to build a pipeline right through this balance to carry oil. A pipeline that has had twelve failures in twelve months. 

From the start I think TransCanada knew they were going to get a fight. This is the last bit of pipeline. They were unabashed in the propaganda they tried on the TV. "Midwest" looking folk telling us how the pipeline would be good for Nebraska. Jobs that would be good for Nebraska. Good for the children. It was disgusting and easy to see through. Hell, they even are sponsoring Larry The Cable Guy in order to get on our good side. 

Give me a break. I'm average. I don't play the social game of life too well. Even I can see that they are full of beans. 

This is more than jobs. This is environmental suicide. You pollute that aquifer and you kill agriculture. You kill agriculture and suddenly prices go up at the grocery store. You kill those prices and it gets just that much harder to feed families. Isn't it hard enough already? You poison that much water, you poison the cattle, the plants and the people. You can't put buoys out there to contain it, it's underground! You won't be able to see it until it comes through your pipes and out your faucet. 

Sounds like I'm totally against it? I'm not sure I am. I think the route they choose is ill advised and stupid.  I think the route was chosen because they thought it could be cheaper. They have already put in a pipeline in Eastern Nebraska were there is clay instead of sand. Why the hell don't they just follow what they already did?  Change the route, I say. Just change it.

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