Year 2, Month 11, Day 16: Who Put The NOMP In The Bomp Bomp Bomp?

The Nebraska Journal-Star talks about the pipeline postponement:

Break out the champagne! The State Department decision to study routes to avoid Nebraska’s beautiful and ecologically sensitive Sandhills is a victory against long odds.

It’s hard to imagine a decision that could and would be hailed by everyone from conservative Gov. Dave Heineman to liberal Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska to environmentalist Ken Winston of the Sierra Club, but that’s the case in this rare confluence of concerns and priorities.

Now there’s a reasonable chance that the Keystone XL pipeline project will never rip a slow-to-heal gash across the Sandhills.

The statement from the State Department emphasized that the concern expressed by Nebraskans had been a key factor in the decision to delay the project.


This is a one-time opportunity. Cynics wonder whether it would have been granted at all if it had not provided a convenient excuse for the Obama administration to delay a final decision until after the elections next year.

As readers of this page know, the Journal Star editorial board called more than a year ago for the pipeline route to be moved to avoid the Sandhills. We think the pipeline needs to be built, just not through the Sandhills.

I wanted to expand on the “Not On My Planet” theme, and this editorial was a perfect hook. Sent November 12:

NIMBY — “Not In My Backyard.” When your editorial writers say, “We think the pipeline needs to be built, just not through the Sandhills,” it’s a classic example of this way of thinking.

It’s often reasonable to relocate obvious hazards and inconveniences so they don’t endanger lives or disrupt communities, but the Keystone XL pipeline is not such a case. The likely impact of leaks and spillage on sensitive aquifers is only one of many reasons to block the project; while relocation may reduce the chance of water contamination, this doesn’t do a thing about the destruction of huge amounts of Canadian boreal forest, or the devastating CO2 emissions that are an inevitable consequence of burning the dirty crude of the tar sands. And it won’t do a thing about weaning our nation from its addiction to oil.

NIMBY is an inadequate response to the Keystone XL. We need to say NOMP — “Not On My Planet!”

Warren Senders

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