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Schindler reports: "No tar sands pipeline. No crude oil pipeline. That was the unanimous sentiment of the Holt County Supervisors during Tuesday's meeting."

The Holt County Supervisors voted unanimously against the pipeline. (photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
The Holt County Supervisors voted unanimously against the pipeline. (photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

County Votes Against Pipeline, TransCanada Seeks to Hire Police

By LuAnn Schindler, Norfolk Daily News

03 May 13


'NEILL - No tar sands pipeline. No crude oil pipeline.

That was the unanimous sentiment of the Holt County Supervisors during Tuesday's meeting at the Holt County Courthouse here even as a decision by the U.S. State Department on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline looms.

With their vote, the supervisors were the first to pass a resolution against these types of pipelines traversing their county's borders, although at least one Nebraska county previously passed a resolution in support of such pipelines.

All seven supervisors voted to approve a resolution opposing all crude oil and tar sands pipelines across Holt County after listening to comments from landowners and representatives of TransCanada, the company seeking to build and operate the Keystone XL pipeline.

Supervisor Chairman Bill Tielke acknowledged the vote may be nothing more than a symbolic gesture.

"Whatever is decided in Washington, D.C., will happen, but our citizens have concerns and we are addressing it," Tielke said during a break in the meeting.

Jeff Rauh, a TransCanada representative, presented a three-page letter to supervisors, outlining the process the Canada-based project has gone through, including independent regulatory reviews and state and federal environmental impact hearings.

Property taxes generated from the pipeline could result in a $3 million windfall for the county, Rauh said, benefiting both Atkinson-West Holt and O'Neill Public Schools.

But Bob Beelaert of Page said supervisors need to represent the sentiments of Holt County taxpayers, and not TransCanada.

"If we're talking money, most will write a check to cover the money if it means no pipeline," Beelaert said.

Supervisor Ralph Metschke of Chambers agreed. "It's not about money. It's about clean water," Metschke said.

A large contingency of Holt County landowners - some affected by the proposed route -addressed the board individually. Concerns surfaced about possible leaks, the possible effect on the Ogallala Aquifer and liability for clean-up.

"TransCanada has agreed to go above and beyond required safety measures. Our objective is to make sure the pipeline is safe," said Rauh.

Rancher Bruce Boettcher of Atkinson said opposition to the proposed pipeline's route is growing in Nebraska.

"This county has stepped up to the plate," Boettcher said.

The Holt County vote came as Nebraska law enforcement officials met last week with TransCanada representatives. The meeting addressed expected public demonstrations against the project - if it's eventually approved and built in the state.

Several sheriffs said the meeting was set up by the Nebraska State Patrol as a way to plan for what could turn into heated confrontations between construction crews and opponents.

Jane Kleeb, the leader of pipeline opposition group Bold Nebraska, criticized the meeting and said she understood that TransCanada is seeking to hire off-duty officers to work as security guards.

"That's a conflict of interest," she said. "Are they working for our citizens or are they working for TransCanada?"

The meeting was set up by the patrol and was open to police and sheriff's agencies along the pipeline route. The Nebraska Attorney General's office sent a representative, as did some county prosecutors.

Sheriffs of three counties along the route confirmed when contacted Tuesday that they attended the meeting.

The company was invited to offer examples of the kinds of protests and demonstrations they've encountered in Texas, where the southern leg of the project is under construction.

The information was welcome for counties that don't often see demonstrations, said Antelope County Sheriff Robert Moore.

"We talked about the fine line between peaceful and what crosses the line and makes it a criminal," he said.

Sheriff Cory Beverly of Boyd County, who also attended the meeting, said its purpose was to share information to help departments better protect public safety.

Howard, the company spokesman, declined to say what the company plans to do specifically to protect construction crews. But he did not rule out the possibility that the company may try to hire off-duty police in Nebraska.

"It would be great if we didn't have to," he said. your social media marketing partner


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+35 # She Cee 2013-05-03 22:34
Seems to me we have seen enough damage in Arkansas to see the damage this pipeline could cause should the pipe spring a leak.

Seems to me we know enough to say NO to any pipelines built across our country to prove that they can destroy towns and water sources.

The oil from these pipelines is not destined to increase the oil available to people in this country. The only ones to benefit from the XL pipeline are the refineries in Texas (owned by the Koch brothers), and the foreign countries to which the oil will be shipped.

If Obama approves the pipeline it will prove he is in the back pocket of the oil industry….and a traitor to his own country.

I voted for Obama twice. Now I say…INPEACH HIM.
+36 # AMLLLLL 2013-05-04 07:48
I have the same sense of disappointment. This is equivalent to letting your daughter 'work the corner' because the money's good...

It can be summed up in two words: BAD IDEA
+46 # Helen 2013-05-03 23:18
Is this still America? The America I grew up in? Any city or county should have the right to ban pipelines or fracking operations that they think might harm their environment.
+30 # angelfish 2013-05-04 00:24
WHEN will they be satisfied? When the last drop of drinkable water is gone, the last grain of arable soil is poisoned? If TransCanada tries to FORCE their will on Americans who DO NOT WANT Poisonous swill pumped over their land, WHERE is any recourse? When our SCOTUS declared Corporations to have the same, if not MORE Rights as living, breathing humans it was a Death Knell for ANY Justice to be had by individuals. I'm curious to know if the "citizen's united" Bull-Puckey includes Foreign Companies as well as our own? If it does, without power or influence this little town and many others like it will be over-run by TransCanada who is FREE to poison American citizens, ad lib. R.I.P. America. Hello, Amerika!
+5 # DPM 2013-05-04 00:34
The president will approve it somewhere between the evening of May 24th and May 26th. So, get ready.
+25 # MHAS 2013-05-04 00:45
"It would be great if they didn't have to" hire off-duty police because the Obama administration said no to the pipeline.
+24 # Spence 2013-05-04 01:22
Let's see, $3 million windfall. Just one spill and the Ogallala Aquifer is history. How far will $3 million go for providing clean water? What a joke. The fact that this pipeline is already under construction in Texas means that it is a done deal. Obama is in the pocket of big money but he talks like a liberal. As bad as the Republicans are we know where they stand. How can this be a democracy. Two parties without any real difference. Big business has all three branches in their pockets.
+31 # jwb110 2013-05-04 04:38
Watch out for the police Nebraska! These are the same strong arm tactics used 100 years ago to squash labor and now it will be used to squash the citizenry. And yes the use of off duty officers is a conflict of interests and that cannot be stressed enough.
I am very gad to see that individual states are using their states rights to do something about a very bad idea, the tar sands pipeline. That pipeline will run thru states directly over the Ogallala Acquifer. That is the largest collection of ground water in the entire US. It goes from the Rockies to the Mississippi River. It has already has been compromised by drier than normal rainy season and general use. That said, it will replenish itself with sufficient rain. Should it be compromised by tar sand then all bets are off.
I hope that more and more of these states pass these sorts of resolutions and then join forces to stop this pipeline.
+40 # AMLLLLL 2013-05-04 07:45
Look at the Enbridge tar sands spill in Battle Creek, MI 2010. The oil company estimated one month and $5 million to correct. This spill clean up is STILL ONGOING, at a tab to date over $700 million, and TAXPAYERS foot the bill due to legislation passed in the Bush years that says oil companies only have to pay for 'oil' spills, and this toxic brew is technically not oil. I can smell Cheney's work from here.
+26 # jon 2013-05-04 08:06
Now we know how the plains Indians felt during the last half of the 19th century.
+2 # AMLLLLL 2013-05-05 20:16
jon, how right you are! The Indians in general could not imagine how bad it could get. We had better imagine, and unite against this monster.
+13 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-05-04 08:27
We wake up. The false left right meme is keeping us from uniting as a nation to stop the corportists.
+13 # Majikman 2013-05-04 08:33
Well, the states could mobilize their Nat'l Guard to prevent a foreign power from taking over their land, right? Isn't that what the gun guys, 2nd ammendment screamers are about?
Oops, silly me...Bush assumed control of all the states' Nat''l. Guard to send to Iraq, and never relinquished control back to the states (unless he did it in the dead of night when no one was looking).
Wow! 3 million in revenue? folks do come cheap in the midwest. Off duty cops protecting the pipeline? that's what I call creative job creation.
It's Holt County today, the rest of us tomorrow.
Welkomen to Amerika.
+4 # indian weaver 2013-05-04 13:00
Heil Obama. And his Wehrmacht, the Gestapo FBI, his brown shirted CIA, ... They are picking us off one by one, quietly, secretly ... Time for our serious consideration of our options, and "all options are on the table", in the face of the destruction of We The People by our government...
+13 # BLBreck 2013-05-04 17:53
Last week a judge in PA upheld the right of a town to ban fracking when an oil company sued them for the ban. If enough communities and counties take this action, is it a way to breakup the path of the pipeline so badly it make it too expensive to build? Well, Obama said, "Make me!" Let's make him and the corporations listen to the People. It may be a fool's errand, but in my book, "if nothing you do matters, than the only thing that matters is what you do."
+6 # RnR 2013-05-04 18:51
Barack Obama ... well on the way to being everybody's biggest regret - Kerry's #2

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