Posted By: Megan Palera
After more than a year of delays, the Keystone XL pipeline project clears a big hurdle.
Governor Dave Heineman has given his approval to build it in Nebraska. We caught up with him in Wahoo Tuesday night.
"I spent a lot of time reviewing the report; almost every night since I received it. I would spend 4–5 hours on the weekends so I understood... At the end of the day based on energy independence, the economic impact and the environmental impact I approved the route."
TransCanada wants to build the pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Last year, the company was forced to reroute it, away from the environmentally sensitive area of the sandshills.
The state's final evaluation report finds the new route does that, but that it still passes over the aquifer.
"You're always concerned about whether there might be a spill or whatever but they've made assurances in that report that'll be minimal, localized."
Construction of the pipeline would also result more than $418 million in economic benefits. Just one of the many findings the governor included in his letter to the president and secretary of state.
The president is now the only thing standing in TransCanada's way.
"We listened to Nebraskans. They waited for us to make the decision. Now that we've made the decision to approve the route, I think most of us would like to see him go forward."
The U.S. State Department has received the governor's letter. The department said Tuesday a review of the pipeline would not come any sooner than the end of March.