Gov. Dave Heineman says whether TransCanada will ever get its permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline isn’t his decision; he says the state is focused on helping TransCanada find an alternative route in Nebraska.
“Now there are really two things that need to happen,” Heineman tells Nebraska Radio Network. “First of all, we need a proposed route that goes around the Sand Hills and we put out a map of the Sand Hills the other day. Secondly, assuming that TransCanada proposes a route around the Sand Hills, the second requirement is to pass the supplemental environmental impact statement to make sure they meet environmental muster on all the variety of issues. So, that’s what we’re focused on in the state.”
Heineman says the state is focused on helping TransCanada find a new route that avoids the Sand Hills in accordance with the agreement reached in the special legislative session.
“Now, my sense, since the old route that went through the more sensitive areas of our state was acceptable, you could probably with a new route once we’ve done all the work, I would think it would be environmentally acceptable. But I don’t want to prejudge that,” Heineman says.
The governor does say that he’s concerned the decision made in Washington could create legal problems in Nebraska. Heineman says he would have preferred that President Obama give the Keystone project conditional approval to give the state the time it needs to complete its work.