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OUR VIEW: Passion still exists for the Keystone XL pipeline

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The Keystone XL pipeline is still generating much controversy, as shown by attendance at a public meeting earlier this week in Nebraska.

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Tuesday in Albion, Neb., hundreds of people came to hear speakers discuss the pipeline's proposed route. And here's a sure way to gauge the passion that boils within many who live along the way: More than 160 people signed up to speak their mind at the meeting. That's a lot of people.

According to Associated Press reports about the meeting, speakers rose to discuss the pros and cons of the pipeline.

Many were actually in favor of the pipeline, and in Nebraska, we would have figured the crowd would have been mostly against the project.

We've said it many times before in this space: We are in favor of the Keystone XL, which will be used to ship oil from the Canada tar sands to refineries along the American Gulf Coast.

We know opponents worry about the pipeline's effect on the environment, and we get that. We, too, have those concerns, and know that the utmost diligence will be required along the way.

We also have concerns about the effect that Canadian oil will have on the environment.

Many experts say it burns dirtier than other types of oil.

To counter those concerns, we feel that the oil will be burned by someone, if not by Americans.

We also know that oil is quite a commodity, and if pipelines don't ship it across America, roads and rails will -- and at greater expense to taxpayers.

Too, the economic impact from the pipeline is just too great to be ignored.

The meeting earlier this week in Nebraska shows that much concern still exists, and it's right for those concerns to be aired.

These worries have merit, and should lead to better plans and management for the Keystone XL.

Eventually, however, the pipeline must be built.

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