Governor Heineman contends Senator Nelson could assert pressure on the Obama Administration to change the route of the Keystone XL pipeline, a contention Nelson dismisses.
Heineman rejects suggestions to call a special legislative session on TransCanada’s proposal to build an oil pipeline through the Sand Hills and over the Ogallala Aquifer. He suggests those pushing the issue to shift their focus to Washington.
“So, they ought to put their attention on the federal regulatory process, ask Senator Ben Nelson to call President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton and deny the permit,” Heineman states during a news conference at the Capitol.
Heineman says that would end the controversy.
The suggestion doesn’t sit well with Nelson.
“Now, this is a governor that wants me to inject politics into a decision being made by the State Department,” Nelson responds during a discussion with reporters in Lincoln. “It’s outrageous.”
Heineman goes further, suggesting the President Obama owes Nelson a favor, since Nelson was a crucial vote in passing Obama’s health care legislation in Congress. Nelson counters that the governor has attempted to shift responsibility on location of the pipeline to the State Department, which he calls absurd.