By: Megan Palera
The final report is in - now it's up to the governor to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality released its pipeline evaluation Friday. The more than 2,000 page report doesn't come with a recommendation for the governor. Instead, it looks at the new route and its environmental, economic and social impacts on the state.
The most important question surrounding the reroute: does it avoid the Sandhills?
"We feel it does avoid what would technically be called the Sandhills," NDEQ Director Mike Linder said.
But the report does find that TransCanada's new route still passes over the Ogallala Aquifer. That's been a concern of the governor's from the beginning and why so many are still against the pipeline.
Opponents sounded off on Bold Nebraska's website Friday. Jane Kleeb wrote, "The bottom line remains, why are we risking our water-the main source of our state's economy-for a foreign export pipeline?"
Landowner Bob Allpress wrote, "The route is still through the Sandhills and is still a threat to the aquifer... Governor Heineman, I call on you to reject this pencil whipping and get an unflawed report."
As for the economic benefits, the report says the pipeline would support more than 4,500 new or existing jobs in Nebraska and generate more than $418 million.
Governor Dave Heineman will have 30 days to make a decision. That will be shared with the U.S. Department of State. The President will have the final say on the entire project that runs from Canada to Texas.
Posted By: KLKN Newsroom
A state evaluation of TransCanada's route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline through Nebraska has been sent to the governor.
The office of Gov. Dave Heineman said in a news release Friday that he has 30 days to review the more than 2,000 pages before making his decision.
His decision will be shared with the U.S. State Department, which has federal jurisdiction because the pipeline begins in Canada. The State Department recommendation will go to President Barack Obama, who has the final say. TransCanada's pipeline is designed to carry tar sands oil from Canada across Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The company also has proposed connecting it to the Bakken oil field in Montana and North Dakota.
An Executive Summary of the report is available at www.pipeline.nebraska.gov