State officials have secured an agreement with federal officials on how to regulate the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska.
Gov. Dave Heineman said negotiations between the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of State have been concluded with a memorandum of understanding [PDF of Memo of Understanding]of how the environmental impact study will be concluded.
“The Department of State reached out to us and I took that as a very positive sign that they want to move forward in a comprehensive and professional manner relative to what needs to be done relative to the siting of a pipeline,” Heineman stated.
Heineman took agreement on the memo as a good sign about the future of Keystone XL.
“I think that’s a good positive sign that they’re going to use the material that we gained from this process, particularly the environmental impact statement,” according to Heineman.
Negotiations between Nebraska and the Department of State came to an abrupt end when President Obama rejected TransCanada’s presidential permit request earlier this year. The president allowed TransCanada to re-apply, which it has. The company needs permission to cross the border to build the $7 billion, 1,700 mile pipeline from western Canada to oil refineries at the Gulf of Mexico in Texas.
TransCanada initially proposed building the pipeline through the Sand Hills, a proposal that proved controversial. The company reached agreement with the state to avoid the Sand Hills. The legislature revised the agreement during the session this year, prompting the renegotiations between state and federal officials.
The state of Nebraska maintains a website on the Keystone XL pipeline that can be accessed by clicking here.