Maine Opponents Protest Advance Of Keystone Pipeline Project

Nov 21, 2017

Climate activists rallied in Portland Monday evening in response to the Public Service Commission of Nebraska's approval of the alternate route for the Keystone XL pipeline.

But rally organizers, including Glen Bran of the Sierra Club, also saw the commission's 3-2 decision to reject TransCanada's preferred route as a partial victory.

"This sets up another whole series of bureaucratic hurdles, where we are going to be - Sierra Club certainly is going to be - suing, but there are many ways to intervene in the process," Bran says. "We've been at this for years and we intend to double our efforts to stop the pipeline."

Pipeline supporters say it would create jobs and tax breaks. But Claudia King, one of about a dozen rally-goers, says she's skeptical of those claims and worries about the potential environmental risks.

"The promised jobs won't result," she says. "It's really - really will just accelerate what already is a terrible climate situation."

For Michele Fournier, of the group 350 Maine, last week's 210,000 gallon oil spill from another TransCanada pipeline in South Dakota is a clear reminder of what's at stake.

"If the pipeline is built, it's just a matter of time before it spills, also," she says. "And the  Ogallala aquifer is in Nebraska and there's just too many risks."

Montana and South Dakota, the other two states the Keystone XL would cross, have already approved the project, making Nebraska's decision a key victory for TransCanada.