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Nebraska Democrats Disagree Over Keystone XL Project

June 3, 2011

The Journal Star reported that Jane Kleeb, of Bold Nebraska, was disillusioned when the Nebraska Democratic Party’s labor caucus endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline construction through Nebraska’s Sandhills. Kleeb, one of the most outspoken Nebraska opponents of the pipeline project, could not believe that the party she belonged to would endorse such a thing.

If the state party had not subsequently declared its own neutrality on the issue, Kleeb said, the statement by its working families caucus might have “pushed me to believe that maybe my party does not represent the values and things I stand for.”

The labor caucus said that the project will create jobs in Nebraska for “thousands of skilled craft workers at a time when jobs are sorely needed”. Ron Kaminski of the Omaha Building and Construction Trades Council also claims that people are being “misinformed and misguided” concerning the project and that “scare tactics” are being used as a way to deter support for the pipeline.

While the disagreement over the value and need for the pipeline continues to rage in Nebraska, Kleeb believes that the best possible solution for Nebraska does not include routing the oil pipeline across the Ogallala Aquifer. The aquifer provides water to 8 states and could have devastating effects for those states if the aquifer is contaminated by a spill.

The State Department is expected to make a decision about the pipeline by the end of 2011.

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