Gov. Heineman says TransCanada wouldn’t have been surprised about his opposition to the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline if the company had been listening to Nebraskans.
Heineman says his visits with Nebraskans during stops throughout the state convinced him to send his letter to the Obama Administration, calling on it to deny TransCanada a permit to build the oil pipeline through the Sand Hills and over the Ogallala Aquifer.
“As I’ve traveled the state over the last 60 to 90 days, I would go to a community meeting, to a business function, to an education function; people would come up to me repeatedly and the issue they wanted to talk about was the pipeline,” Heineman says.
Heineman says there’s strong opposition in Nebraska to the proposed route, not necessarily the pipeline. He says his stance on the issue shouldn’t have surprised TransCanada.
“And, so, if TransCanada had been listening, they would have sensed what was going on, too,” Heineman says.
Heineman says if TransCanada would move the route closer to an existing pipeline in eastern Nebraska, opposition would melt away.
Heineman says he hasn’t received a response from the Obama Administration to his letter. He speculates it’s likely too early to expect a reply. The governor says Nebraska residents can voice their opposition during two public hearings scheduled for later this month. The first will be held Tuesday, September 27th, in the Pershing Center in Lincoln. The second will be held in the Sand Hills region of Nebraska, West Holt High School in Atkinson.
The governor sticks by his refusal to call a special session on the issue. He says he hasn’t heard any support forming behind Sen. Ken Haar’s call for a special session. Heineman says the best route for opponents to take is to attend the public hearings later this month and voice the opposition to TransCanada’s proposed route.