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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

pipeline 500x171

Nebraska Gov opposed to oil pipeline route

By Ed Brayton | 09.01.11 | 9:45 am

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, has come out publicly in opposition to the approval of the current Keystone XL project, which would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast by going through a key water source in his state.

In a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who are responsible for approving or denying the permit for the project, Heineman says that the risk of a spill that could damage the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides drinking and irrigation water for Nebraska and surrounding states. Specifically, Heineman is concerned that a spill could cause significant harm to his state’s $17 billion per year ag industry.

Full text of the letter is reprinted below:

Dear President Obama and Secretary Clinton:

I am writing you today regarding a very important issue to the State of Nebraska and to our citizens — the Keystone XL pipeline. I am opposed to the proposed route of this pipeline. The Final Environmental Impact Statement compares a potential spill in the Sand Hills region to a 1979 Bemidji, Minnesota spill and concludes that “the impacts to shallow groundwater from a spill of a similar volume in the Sand Hills region would affect a limited area of the aquifer around the spill site.” I disagree with this analysis, and I believe that the pipeline should not cross a substantial portion of the Ogallala Aquifer.

Of the current proposed route, 254 miles of the pipeline would come through Nebraska and be situated directly over the Ogallala Aquifer. The aquifer provides water to farmers and ranchers of Nebraska to raise livestock and grow crops. Nebraska has 92,685 registers, active irrigation wells supplying water to over 8.5 million acres of harvested cropland and pasture. Forty-six percent of the total cropland harvested during 2007 was irrigated.

Maintaining and protecting Nebraska’s water supply is very important to me and the residents of Nebraska. This resources is the lifeblood of Nebraska’s agriculture industry. Cash receipts from farm marketings contribute over $17 billion to Nebraska’s economy annually. I am concerned that the proposed pipeline will potentially have detrimental effects on this valuable natural resource and Nebraska’s economy.

I want to emphasize that I am not opposed to pipelines. We already have hundreds of them in our state. I am opposed to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline route because it is directly over the Ogallala Aquifer.

Therefore, I am asking you to disapprove TransCanada’s pending permit request. Do not allow TransCanada to build a pipeline over the Ogallala Aquifer and risk the potential damage to Nebraska’s water. Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Dave Heineman


  • Anonymous

    I appaud Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman for taking a stand against the Keystone XL pipeline. The direct danger to the Ogallala Aquifer is obvious. The less obvious danger to facilitating the Keystone XL pipeline is the overall picture. The Canada Oils Sands project represents an extended committment to the use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels must remain in the ground to prevent futher damage to the climate. The composition of the atmosphere has changed. CO2 levels are now at 391 ppm. It has been estimated by responsible scientists that the Tar Sands Project in total will eventually lead to increasing the CO2 levels 200 points. This is the wrong direction. To prevent adverse climate change, C02 levels need to be reduced to 350 ppm. The tars sands project will double what would be gained by shutting down all the coal fired electric plants. This is one step forward and two backward.  Alternatives to fossil fuels must be instituted. Any hope to reach 350 ppm of CO 2 in the atmosphere will be gone if the Tar Sands Project proceeds.

    • Anonymous

      For a species with a unique comprehension of remote consequences, we have a comparably unique disregard for them.

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