Thanks for the article. Earlier this week, I was looking into the Excel Pipeline debate myself, and ran across something interesting. If you compare maps showing the location of US lower-48 oil and natural gas pipelines against the location of the NE Sandhills, it's apparent that very few, if any, major pipelines have been built across this area. For whatever reason, historically this area has been bypassed. I assume the location of the Bakken production and Can tar sand production makes the proposed route the most attractive in a commercial sense. Even so, there appear to be routes that wouldn't be much longer that could effectively avoid the Sandhills altogether.For example, the Excel Phase I pipeline, opened mid 2010, skirts around the Sandhills to the east.
The Bakken oil and Can tar sand oil will be produced. Transporting it to the US as responsibly as possible is a positive outcome, in my opinion.