Mixed reaction to Heineman approval of Keystone XL pipeline route
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved a new route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that avoids the state's environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.
Heineman sent a letter Tuesday to President Barack Obama confirming that he would allow the controversial project to proceed in his state.
Canadian pipeline developer TransCanada has faced strong resistance in Nebraska from a coalition of landowners and environmental groups who claim the pipeline it would contaminate the Ogallala aquifer, a massive groundwater supply.
The original route would have run the pipeline through a region of erodible,
grass-covered sand dunes. The new route skirts that area.
Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska, a free-market advocacy group, applauded the governor for approving the revised route, saying it is an important step toward energy security, the creation of thousands of new jobs and is in step with what most Nebraskans support.
But the grassroots group that mobilized in opposition to the pipeline in Nebraska, Bold Nebraska, said the governor just performed "one of the biggest flip-flops in Nebraska political history." Bold Nebraska leader Jane Kleeb said in an email, "He approved the pipeline route that crosses the aquifer after he asked Obama to deny the route that crossed the aquifer,".
Kleeb said "President Obama is our only hope now."
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