Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2020


The Keystone Pipeline entered the national stage in 2010 when TransCanada proposed an extension that went through the Nebraska Sandhills, an ecosystem which contains a large portion of the Ogallala Aquifer. This is not an issue to be taken lightly – the Sandhills and Ogallala Aquifer fulfill many of the functions noted in de Groot, Wilson, and Bouman’s typology of ecosystem services. In this analysis, these two sides will converge into one research problem: exploring connections between the potential economic, social, and environmental effects of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s presence in the Sandhills region of Central Nebraska.

The analysis shall begin with background information about the Central Nebraska Sandhills, an ecologically unique region that is home to the nation’s largest aquifer, and the potential effects of the proposed pipeline in this area. The Veblenian dichotomy will then be applied to this issue. It is important to apply the Veblenian dichotomy to this research problem in order to find holistic policy measures that balance Nebraska’s water quality and our nation’s energy needs.

Is Part Of

Student Papers in Local and Global Regional Economies