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PNS Daily Newscast - November 12, 2018 


The election recount spotlight is on Florida, with three hotly contested races. Also on the Monday rundown: Can women sustain their record election gains? And a bill in Congress would help fund preservation of historic sites.

Daily Newscasts

Solar Project Throws Shade on Keystone XL

The first "Solar XL" installation in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline was erected on the farm of Jim and Chris Carlson, who rejected a $307,000 offer from the pipeline company. (Bold Nebraska)
The first "Solar XL" installation in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline was erected on the farm of Jim and Chris Carlson, who rejected a $307,000 offer from the pipeline company. (Bold Nebraska)
August 21, 2018

NAPER, Neb. — Solar panels are being installed on land along the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska and South Dakota to power the homes, farms and indigenous spirit camps of communities opposed to the project.

Ranchers Bob and Nancy Allpress became the third Nebraska family to install solar panels on their land near Naper, which lies directly in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Mark Hefflinger with the group Bold Nebraska said a crowdfunding campaign is under way for more so-called Solar XL installations in Nebraska and South Dakota, led by indigenous groups concerned about leaks and spills into waterways, among other environmental risks.

"This is basically our putting a line in the sand here and saying, 'We want to move towards renewable energy,’” Hefflinger said. “So TransCanada then, if they eventually decide to build this boondoggle of a project, will have to tear down clean, renewable energy in order to build their tar-sands pipeline."

Solar XL organizers plan to ramp up efforts before October, when the Nebraska Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in a case that pits landowners, indigenous tribes and conservation groups against TransCanada. The pipeline developer says its proposal to deliver tar sands to a refinery in Texas is safe and would provide economic benefits to local communities.

Hefflinger pointed to a large oil spill that occurred last year along TransCanada's first Keystone pipeline in South Dakota as one reason to re-evaluate the project, which would cross one of the country's largest sources of fresh water, the Ogallala Aquifer.

"Well, especially in Nebraska, we're an ag state,” he said. “All the folks who are living in the path of the pipeline depend on the Ogallala Aquifer not just for irrigation and to help feed livestock, but also for drinking water."

TransCanada says it's committed to move half a million barrels of crude oil per day through the pipeline, but has not yet determined whether or not the project is financially feasible. The company must make agreements with landowners or get court approval to acquire right of way by eminent domain, before November of 2019.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - NE