Key­stone hear­ings dish dirt

Calgary Sun - - NEWS - — Post­media Net­work

LIn­COLn, neb. — Hear­ings for tran­sCanada Corp.’s us$8-bil­lion Key­stone XL pro­posal in ne­braska fo­cused on gran­u­lar de­tails of the project tues­day, specif­i­cally the al­berta-to-texas pipe­line’s im­pact on the dirt and soil in the state.

Lawyers for landown­ers op­posed to the project grilled tran­sCanada ex­perts on whether Key­stone XL would per­ma­nently af­fect the soil in ne­braska and whether it would af­fect the yield of crops such as corn.

ap­prox­i­mately 50 landown­ers at­tend­ing the ne­braska Public ser­vice Com­mis­sion hear­ings au­di­bly groaned at one point when tran­sCanada soils ex­pert John Beaver said the re­spon­si­bil­ity for the line would re­vert to the landown­ers at the end of the project’s com­mer­cial life af­ter 50 years of op­er­a­tions.

“I be­lieve it re­verts to the landowner,” Beaver said.

If the com­mis­sion rec­om­mends Key­stone XL is in the public in­ter­est of the state by the end of novem­ber, con­struc­tion could be­gin in 2018, wrap up two years later, and de­liver 830,000 bar­rels of oil per day be­tween al­berta and u.s. gulf Coast re­finer­ies for half a cen­tury.

a con­tentious is­sue in ne­braska is whether Key­stone XL will im­pact the state’s sand Hills.

earl Miller, who owns land in Holt County where he grows hay and raises cat­tle, said his land con­sists of “very por­ous sand.” the is­sue with the soil, Miller said, is it’s so por­ous that oil spilled in the area can seep down deeper than ex­pected into the ground.

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