Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood and three senators meet with a top official of TransCanada this afternoon as calls continue for the legislature to meet in special session to enact oil pipeline regulations.
Flood says he is considering the special session request, but first wants to meet with TransCanada about its controversial plans to build a 36-inch oil pipeline through the Sand Hills and over the Ogallala Aquifer.
“Hopefully, what we do today is have a conversation about the concerns of folks across and along the TransCanada route and a discussion of possible solutions and alternatives,” Flood tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate WJAG-AM. “I’m looking forward to a productive meeting.”
The State Department held two public hearings in Nebraska on the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s a $7 billion project, proposed to travel 1,700 miles from western Canada to Gulf Coast refineries in Texas. It would carry crude oil made from the tar sands near Alberta.
Flood has invited Natural Resources Committee Chairman Chris Langemeier to the meeting. Senator Annette Dubas, who has proposed a pipeline regulation bill to be considered in a special session, has also been invited as has Senator Kate Sullivan, who has handled pipeline regulations in the past. They will meet with Alex Pourbaix, president of TransCanada’s Energy and Oil Pipelines.
The meeting is being held in Norfolk and is closed to the public.