Bluffs council supports Keystone pipeline on split vote

On a split three to two vote, the Scottsbluff City Council Monday evening approved submitting a letter of support for the Keystone XL Pipeline to the State Department and the Obama Administration.

Scott Shaver and Michael Diebert voted against sending the letter, maintaining the issue did not directly impact the city now that the route has been moved from the environmentally sensitive Sandhills to the eastern end of the state. But Mayor Randy Meininger claimed because the project was in Nebraska, it would provide jobs and bring the country closer to energy independence.

The council received letters from business partners Santana Tamarack and James Sayre, both of them in opposition to the pipeline because of environmental reasons.

The request to send the letter comes as part of the city's association with the Heartland Expressway Association and Ports to Plains Association, which made similar requests of all the Panhandle communities. The Gering council last November voted seven to one to also send a letter of support to key governmental officials.

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