CEA Encouraged by Passage Of Legislation to Move Forward Keystone XL Project
In Absence of Presidential Permit Rational and Predictable Process Essential to Moving Forward

(Lincoln, NE)— The Nebraska Legislature today passed legislation, LB1 and LB4, critical to the ongoing development and success of the Keystone XL pipeline absent a Presidential permit expected last month.  The passage of LB4 in particular will ensure continued progress of the Keystone XL project as it sets a regulatory structure for Nebraska to permit the route of Keystone XL and work concurrently on environmental revenues with the Department of State.  This is crucial in ensuring a timely completion of this needed project which will provide over 20,000 jobs and a reliable energy source that will reduce our nation’s dependence on unstable sources of energy.

Michael Whatley, Vice President of the Consumer Energy Alliance, offered the following statements in regards to passage of the legislation:

“While we remain disappointed that the Presidential Permit necessary for construction of this vital pipeline has been delayed, we appreciate the work that has been done by Speaker Flood, Chairman Langemeier and the other members of the Nebraska Legislature to set forth a rational process for changing the route of the project through Nebraska as expeditiously as possible.

Given that we have already seen some groups announce that they will oppose the new route just as vigorously as the original route proposed by TransCanada, regardless of merit or circumstance, we hope that Governor Heineman and the other political leaders in Nebraska will aggressively support the new route in order to prevent a replay of the current controversy over the project next year.  The Keystone XL pipeline is good for Nebraska and will create thousands of high paying jobs while enhancing our energy security and boosting the U.S. economy.”

Introduced by Sen. Chris Langemeier, LB4 will authorize the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to collaborate with the federal government on a supplemental environmental impact study for oil pipeline projects in Nebraska.  LB1, introduced by Fullerton Sen. Annette Dubas, would apply to future pipelines and create the Major Oil Pipeline Siting Act. Among other provisions, the bill would define a major oil pipeline as one larger than six inches in diameter and establish an application process for routing a major oil pipeline in Nebraska.  Gov. Heineman signed both bills today at a signing ceremony at 9:30 CT.