We’re watching the news coming out of Nebraska closely this evening. It looks like TransCanada is agreeing to a re-route around the Sand Hills and a new Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the state of Nebraska. We’re going to be waiting on clarification from the White House on what this means for the federal process, but our understanding at the moment is that this decision does nothing to replace the need for the State Department to conduct a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the re-route, as well as a new national interest determination process that takes into account climate change and a variety of other concerns.
Here’s a reaction from Bill McKibben:
“We’re awfully happy that the Ogalalla Aquifer is going to be safe, and the Sand Hills, and that only leaves the entire atmosphere of the planet to worry about. We’re expecting White House clarification tomorrow on the process, and what we expect to hear from them is: whatever happens with the State Department Environmental Impact Statement, there is going to be a full consideration of climate and public health issues surrounding tar sands oil before any presidential permit is granted.”