TransCanada has agreed to re-route the Keystone XL pipeline around the Sand Hills.
Speaker of the Legislature, Mike Flood of Norfolk, announced on the floor of the legislature that he has talked with TransCanada officials and they have agreed to voluntarily move the oil pipeline. Flood says he will sponsor an amendment to legislation for the state to pay for a supplemental environmental impact study on a new route.
“I have visited with TransCanada. They have agreed to voluntarily move the route out of the Nebraska Sand Hills,” Flood told fellow senators in the middle of debate on oil pipeline legislation during the special session. “TransCanada has agreed to do this after hearing from Nebraskans and many of you in this room and the thousands of people who have come to this state Capitol to make their voices heard.”
The announcement cut short lengthy debate on LB4, which would grant the governor authority to regulate oil pipelines in Nebraska.
“TransCanada is willing to consider a route that will not cross the Nebraska Sand Hills. In fact, they’re willing to go through a process that sites it out of the Nebraska Sand Hills,” Flood stated. “This is a voluntary decision on their part and it is a major development in this issue.”
Flood said that the action by TransCanada came after he received confirmation from the State Department that Nebraska has the authority to conduct its own supplemental environmental impact study. Flood said it will be paid for by the state to insure that it isn’t biased.