Heineman says Nebraska Swayed DOS Decision to Delay Pipeline

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Thursday on 10/11 News at Noon, Governor Dave Heineman broke major news about the Transcanada Keystone XL Pipeline. He indicated that the Obama Administration would delay a decision on the pipeline issue for 12-18 months to conduct a review to move the route.

Around 1:15 p.m. Thursday, the State Department ordered the developer of the pipeline that would carry oil from western Canada to Texas to reroute the project away from environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska.

Gov. Dave Heineman says the U.S. State Department decision to reassess the route of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline was due largely to pressure from Nebraskans.

He met with a U.S. State Department official on Oct. 18, and said he's happy to see the Obama Administration listening to Nebraskans.

"The two public hearings out here, the special session, all the letters, our meetings with the Department of State all appear to be paying off."

Heineman continues to emphasize he is not against the pipeline, just the route.

"Hopefully we could find a common sense solution that would benefit everyone. Transcanada could build a pipeline with a different route not over the Ogallala aquifer. I think this state would be very satisfied with that outcome. If you could change it to the eastern corridor or some other route...I believe would be an excellent solution."

Heineman said he called a special session less than a week later
to try to address pipeline concerns at the state level and to
pressure federal officials to act.

The Republican governor called it "an exceptional moment for Nebraskans," and a sign that their voices have been heard.

TransCanada Corp. is seeking to build the $7 billion pipeline. Part of the 1,700-mile pipeline would pass through Nebraska's Sandhills region and an aquifer that supplies water to eight states.

Two senior State Department officials who are familiar with the project described the decision to The Associated Press. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the decision before an official announcement.