The Speaker of the Legislature, Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk, said he welcomes Gov. Dave Heineman’s call for a special legislative session on oil pipeline regulations.
Flood issued a written statement after the governor announced his decision to call a special session.
“I welcome the news that the Governor has called a special session. As I stated last week, I, like many other Nebraskans, have concerns about the proposed pipeline route through a portion of the Nebraska Sandhills. This issue has never been about whether the state has a legitimate role in protecting our groundwater and natural resources. The question, for me, has been how to exercise that role within the parameters of the law. A siting law that is thrown out by the courts has no lasting impact. To suggest otherwise, is not being up front with Nebraskans.”
Flood called the legislature Nebraska’s marketplace of ideas. The Speaker expressed reservations about the effectiveness of a special session last week. Still, he stated that he was committed to “ensuring that your State Legislature will act fairly and will consider any and all proposed legislation.”
“If a solution is to be found that does more than present a short-term, feel-good ‘band-aid’ to the legitimate concerns about the proposed route, I will carefully consider and thoughtfully act on such a bill,” Flood said in the statement. “I believe that by acknowledging the legal issues head on and engaging in a reasoned process, rooted in the law, the citizens will benefit from the actions, if any, taken by the Legislature.”