A state senator offers legislation to regulate projects such as the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton has circulated the draft of a bill that would give the Public Service Commission authority over oil pipelines. Under the bill, the commission would have authority over the route a pipeline takes and the commission would have to give the OK for a pipeline company to use eminent domain to seize land for the pipeline.
Dubas says she has circulated a draft of her bill among her colleagues, sending emails to the state senators. She also says she will be calling senators to gauge their reaction.
“I’m really anticipating good questions and I feel like I have some of the answers, but there’s probably some questions out there or thoughts that I have not though about yet,” according to Dubas. “So, I’m just looking for some good dialogue with my colleagues.”
Dubas and Lincoln Senator Tony Fulton have met with Governor Heineman about the legislation. Dubas says the governor asked some good questions and challenged her to make sure her bill addresses the right issues and that she has the support she needs to get it passed. She calls it a “helpful meeting”.
The governor has declined to call a special session on the issue. Dubas says she knows she has to demonstrate strong support for the legislation to trigger a special session. If 33 senators agree, they can call the legislature into special session.
The talk comes in response to the Keystone XL pipeline in which TransCanada proposes building the pipeline through the Sand Hills and the Ogallala Aquifer.