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Gov. Heinemann: Pipeline re-routing a common sense solution for Nebraska PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 17:42

Gov. Dave Heineman today at a media availability made the following comments regarding recent developments of the Keystone XL Pipeline:

Just a few days ago, I said that the U.S. Department of State decision to undertake an “in-depth assessment of potential alternative routes” was an opportunity for a common sense solution. Today, we stand here having reached a common sense solution.

While there have been a number of factors that have brought us to this point, the catalyst for this extraordinary series of events was the calling of the Special Session.

For months, Nebraskans have been clear about our position on the pipeline — we support the pipeline. However, we’re opposed to a route through the environmentally sensitive Sandhills.

Citizens voiced their opinions at public hearings in Atkinson and Lincoln and at the Legislature’s three public hearings. Through our persistence and determination, the State Department heard our concerns. Additionally, TransCanada has heard our concerns and has voluntarily agreed to change the route.

As is customary in our state, we have found a Nebraska common sense solution that moves the route of the pipeline out of the Sandhills. This exceptional and unusual series of events has allowed us to arrive at this solution because of Nebraskans’ ability to work in a cooperative manner.

First, I want to thank Nebraskans for sharing their thoughts and concerns in a serious and sincere manner throughout this process.

Second, I want to recognize the Legislature, Speaker Flood and the Natural Resources Committee for their hard work in arriving at this solution.

With regard to the current bills, we still have work to do, but we are headed in the right direction.

I support Speaker Flood’s amendment to LB 4, and I am hopeful that LB 1 can be amended into a workable long-term siting process. This issue deserves the thorough and thoughtful discussion we are now having. Third, I want to thank the U.S. Department of State for their cooperation and willingness to work with us. The meetings that the Legislature and I have had with the State Department were useful and productive.

Fourth, I want to acknowledge TransCanada for agreeing to reroute the pipeline. It was important that TransCanada listened to the voices of Nebraskans.

Finally, I appreciate Nebraska’s congressional delegation for their input and for reflecting the views of their constituents. I especially want to recognize and thank Senator Johanns for his leadership and valuable insight on this issue at the federal level.

Throughout this process, it has been evident that laws relating to the siting of an international pipeline are complicated and challenging.

Now, we have arrived at a Nebraska common sense solution, and I am proud of Nebraskans and our state.