OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Longtime pipeline fighter and Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup is feeling a sense of relief.
That's because multiple national news outlets are reporting President-elect Joe Biden plans to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit on his first day in office.
“It feels pretty darn awesome. Of course we kind of had the same feeling in 2015, when President Obama rejected it,” says Tanderup.
The 2,500 mile pipeline that would transport thick tar sands oil from Canada through southern Nebraska where it would join an existing pipeline has been see-sawing for years.
President Obama rejected it. President Trump brought it back. The pipeline got statewide approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission and some construction started after several appeals.
Part of Tanderup’s land was originally targeted by TC Energy, formerly TransCanada.
He gave it away to the Ponca tribe two years ago, but kept in the fight, with his biggest concern being the threat some say the pipeline poses to the Ogallala Aquifer, which lies underneath much of the state.
“We’re in very sandy oil here, it’s a high water cable across this portion of Nebraska. Any leak or seepage into that aquifer can never be cleaned up,” says Tanderup.
Others in the state are less thrilled about the news.
Rep. Don Bacon said in a pair of tweets that the move is a gut punch to good paying union jobs and will undermine the nation’s energy independence.
Jeanne Crumley is another pipeline opponent. She’s still in court with TC Energy over the price of her land.
Tuesday, in jubilation from the news, she decided to treat her mailman, who’s had to deliver her bad news over the years.
“He'll come into my driveway and he’ll honk the horn and he’ll go out and looks at me apologetically and he says sorry, and then I have to sign for all these papers from TransCanada. And so today, I’m giving him banana bread,” says Crumley.
Both are expecting more appeals on the pipeline. Crumley, who never wanted to give up any of her land, says she’s now looking at changing state law.
“There’s been a movement within Nebraska that we really need to address eminent domain law,” says Crumley.