Nebraska Governor OKs Keystone Route Through State
By Jennifer A. Dlouhy
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman on Tuesday approved a new route for the Keystone XL pipeline that would ferry Canadian oil sands crude to the Gulf Coast, setting up a big Obama administration decision on whether to green light the controversial project.
Heineman confirmed he was endorsing the pipeline’s proposed new route around environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska in a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The widely anticipated move now puts the pipeline’s future squarely in front of Obama’s State Department, which is tasked with vetting the $7 billion project because it would cross the U.S.-Canada border.
Marty Durbin, executive vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, which has lobbied the administration to approve the pipeline, said Heineman’s decision means “another major hurdle has been cleared.”
“With the approval from Nebraska in hand, the president can be confident that the remaining environmental concerns have been addressed,” Durbin said.
The State Department is weighing Nebraska’s verdict on the pipeline as it decides whether the project is in the “national interest.” The State Department has said it is on track to make its final decision in March or April.
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