July 24, 2014

Pipeline company leaders thrilled with governor’s okay

TransCanada officials are welcoming Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman’s approval of the company’s re-routed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard says it’s been a long seven-month regulatory process but the governor’s decision was based on the State Department of Environmental Quality report showing the project should move ahead.

“It now goes back to the State Department,” Howard says. “They have to make the decision on our presidential permit. The real issue is does this cross-border pipeline meet America’s regulatory standards to move oil from Canada into the U.S. That’s the real issue here.”

Howard says the reroute plan met all of the earlier environmental concerns that were expressed.

“We were able to move it out of the area that’s defined as the Sand Hills and there’s 57 additional safety measures that we have agreed to put into place,” he says.

Howard says his company is working with more than 60,000 landowners across North America and has a good track record of landowner relations and hopes to continue that.

He also says Governor Heineman’s approval of the reroute becomes part of the project’s presidential permit application with the U.S. State Department.

 By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton