My office receives a good amount of correspondence regarding the Keystone XL pipeline, so I wanted to address that issue with you. I have always been supportive of the pipeline, and recently, I signed a bipartisan letter from 33 members of the Nebraska Legislature to the Public Service Commission in support of construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Having closely monitored the proposed project and reviewed TransCanada’s safety and environmental record in our state for the past six years, I believe they have demonstrated a strong commitment to operating responsibly in our state. In conversations with Nebraskans along the existing Keystone pipeline route (Cedar, Wayne, Stanton, Colfax, Butler, Seward, Saline, Jefferson and Platte Counties) I have found enthusiasm for both the manner in which the company has operated and the property tax dollars its project has contributed since 2010. I have spoken with friends and neighbors in Seward County that have pipeline in their property, and they have mentioned how easy it is to work with TransCanada when putting land back to its original state, like they were never there.
A large majority of Nebraskans agree with this view considering recent media reports indicating more than ninety percent of landowners along the proposed Keystone XL route have already voluntarily agreed to easements, most for figures at or above market value. I am particularly pleased that these agreements, as they appear to cover crop losses and inconveniences which my constituents may experience during the anticipated construction time.
The proposed Keystone pipeline will be extensively monitored with checkpoints for oil spills. It will be better than the current pipeline, and much safer than filling trucks and rail cars with oil, and then sending them on our roads and tracks. The construction of the pipeline will create good jobs along the route, and lower the electrical rates of local electric systems. In 2016, Seward County alone billed TransCanada pipeline almost a half million dollars for property taxes. It was also announced that the latest route proposal would shift slightly west around the Seward County wellhead protection area.
I share your desire to protect the quality of water in our state. The NDEQ has taken the proper steps to ensure protection of the Sandhills region and Ogalalla Aquifer by endorsing a route which avoids the Sandhills region and the areas of northern Nebraska which are home to fragile soils.
As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. David and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance. Please continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman for Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature.