September 1, 2014

Governor approves alternative Keystone XL pipeline route

Governor Dave Heineman approves the amended Keystone XL Pipeline route through Nebraska.

Gov. Heineman is sending a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton informing them of his decision as well as conditions related to the agreement.

The letter states that the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality completed an evaluation of the 194.5-mile long proposed pipeline reroute that includes in it avoids the Sand Hills but would cross the High Plains Aquifer, including the Ogallala Group. Impacts on aquifers from a release should be localized and Keystone would be responsible for any clean up.

The letter also states the proposed reroute avoids many fragile soils in the state and shallow groundwater areas.

The letter also addresses financial impact. Construction would result in $418.1-million in economic benefits and the project would generate $16.5-million in use taxes from pipeline construction material. The annual local property tax revenues for the first full year of valuation would be between $11-million and $13-million.