Keystone XL pipeline supporters, opponents rally

Posted at 7:09 PM, Aug 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-06 23:51:22-04

A showdown between those for and against the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will unfold this week in Lincoln as the Nebraska Public Service Commission holds a formal hearing on whether to approve the route.

But on Sunday each side held separate events.

In Omaha many Union 1140 members were surrounded by their wanting the PSC to approve the pipeline.

Their message is clear the pipeline brings the members jobs and a secure paycheck.

“Working 60 hours a week for 6 months is going to put at least one pension credit into their paycheck so it's huge for our members,” said Sam Renshaw a member of Union 1140.

Renshaw said with a contract with TransCanada they will be the ones working on installing the pipeline if approved. “The amount of workers we'll have out there will be Nebraska workers 95-percent of our members are from Nebraska if they need extras they will be Nebraska’s.”

A Nebraska whose economy is struggling so the economic benefits of the pipeline former speaker of the legislature Mike Flood said are hard to pass up, “We're hurting in rural Nebraska and this would be a needed shot in the arm in a time where we need some more dollars circulating to make these rural communities go.”

Meanwhile a much different rally takes place in Lincoln as hundreds gather at the steps of the capitol protesting the pipeline.

“This pipeline violates traditional hunting grounds out in central Nebraska,” said one opponent.  

The arguments against are mostly environmental concerns. The opponents say the pipeline will contaminate the water and the United States needs to look at renewable energy instead of relying on oil.

Others say the pipeline unfairly benefits TransCanada leaving Nebraskans dealing with potential accidents.

This sets up a showdown between the two sides in front of the public service commissioners starting on Monday. The PSC should make a final decision in November.


3 News Now will be there and will update you on the hearings on social media and on air.