The State Department today got a new applicatoin from TransCanada to put a pipeline carrying tarsands oil from Canada through Nebraska. The White House rejected an earlier version in February. The new route through the state links up to an existing pipeline in Steele City, Neb., State said in a news release.
TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said the new application doesn't actually contain a new route. Only 100 miles was in dispute because it crossed the Sandhills, where the water table is high, Howard said. The company proposed a 2,000-foot wide corridor to Nebraska officials recently and will narrow it down.
As for the 100-mile realinment _ Howard says his company told the State Department it would send the details later. He says it avoids the Sandhills as defined by Nebraska officials, but still crosses the Ogallala Aquifer.
The 1,700 mile pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico also would cross rivers and streams. The Center for Biological Diversity put out a statement yesterday saying that the new route creates risks of spills in habitat for endangered species such as the whooping crane, piping plover and pallid sturgeon. Environmental groups also are fighting the pipeline because the thick form of petroleum mined from the forest in Canada requires more energy to produce and creates more greenhouse gases than conventional oil.