State department Signs MOU on Keystone route
The U-S State Department has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality to accept the state's environmental review for the Keystone XL oil pipeline's new proposed route across Nebraska, which would avoid the Sandhills.
The Keystone XL pipeline would run 1,700-miles from Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the U-S Gulf Coast, but requires a president permit since it would cross an international border.
The MOU means the federal government won't do its own study of that portion of the route. Governor Dave Heineman sees that as a positive step forward.
The State Department had indicated during a special session of the legislature on the Keystone XL issue last November that it would accept a state study, but had not formally agreed to do so until now.
Pipeline developer TransCanada agreed in the special session to change the route to avoid the environmentally sensitive Sandhills and has submitted a 2,000-foot wide route cooridor, which will eventually be narrowed to a specific route.
Governor Heineman says the state's siting process for that route will be thorough and open.
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