Hit Pause on Obama’s Pipeline Plans —- There’s Only One Ogallala Aquifer

Last week, senators pushed back at the administration’s plans to approve an oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf, expressing concerns that a spill could damage water supplies in the agricultural Midwest. Someday, there will be practical, cost-effective energy substitutes for fossil fuels. Who knows, a day might come when the old joke that nuclear fusion power is 30 years away and always will be can finally be laid to rest. There will never, however, be a practical, cost-effective substitute for water. Mark Twain’s old joke that whisky is for drinking and water is for fighting over will never be laid to rest. Water is the pushback issue that might take some of the oomph out of the shale gas boom. Northeasterners who value clean drinking water are wary of gas drillers and the “fracking” chemical mixtures that they use to break open shale formations and persuade gas molecules to enter well bores. Which brings us to Nebraska and its two senators – neither of whom sets pulses racing among the green set. Both Mike Johanns and Ben Nelson went into a twist over Hillary Clinton’s statement that she’s leaning toward approving Transcanada’s proposed pipeline that would move oil from Canada’s goopy tar sands across the Great Plains to Texas refineries. In the high Plains, water is spelled O-g-a-l-l-a-l-a, the name of the vast aquifer that supports Nebraska’s corn and soybean production. The aquifer supports an annual output of farm products worth $20 billion per year. Johanns, who served as George W. Bush’s agriculture secretary, doesn’t need refresher courses about the value of high plains agriculture. Clinton, however, apparently does. Johanns dashed off a note arguing that there hasn’t been sufficient analysis of the proposed pipeline route, which would traverse porous soils that could serve as an expressway for spilled oil to enter the aquifer if the pipeline ruptures. Slow down and study alternatives for routing the line, Johanns warned Hillary. There’s only one Ogallala Aquifer. ((25 OCT 2010))

http://www.frumforum.com/hit-pause-on-obamas-pipeline-plans

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