Heineman (R-NE) approves Keystone XL route; pipeline's fate back in Obama’s hands
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Source: Omaha World Herald
By Joe Duggan
LINCOLN — Gov. Dave Heineman delighted supporters and deflated opponents of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline Tuesday when he approved a new route through Nebraska, saying the project represents a minimal environmental threat while holding substantial economic promise.
The governor sent a 2˝-page letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, explaining that Nebraska’s review of the new underground pipeline route found that it meets state standards.
“Construction and operation of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, with mitigation and commitments from Keystone, would have minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska,” the governor’s letter stated.
Oil industry representatives, labor interests and some members of Congress praised the decision, hoping it will provide momentum for a project that stalled in Nebraska a year ago. The fate of Keystone XL now rests with the U.S. State Department, which is unlikely to announce a final decision before the end of March at the earliest.