Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman approved Tuesday a re-route of the Keystone XL pipeline through his state that will avoid environmentally sensitive Ogallala aquifer.  The decision sets the stage for the U.S. Department of State to give final approval before construction can move ahead.

CEA Executive Vice-President, Michael Whatley pointed out a new pipeline would be a boost to not just jobs but also to the manufacturing and agrarian sectors:

“This decision is welcome news for Nebraska’s citizens and consumers. As a recent study noted, the Keystone XL project will provide $1.8 billion in overall economic activity and thousands of jobs for Nebraska’s economy. At the same time, the pipeline will help provide Nebraskans with a source of affordable energy that is greatly needed by the state’s agrarian and manufacturing economy.”

“For months project opponents have tried to convince the public that moving forward with the pipeline would sacrifice the state’s natural resources. This is a false choice refuted by two assessments conducted by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and a study conducted by the U.S. State Department. All of these reviews found the project will result in ‘minimal environmental impacts’ and the State Department noted the pipeline will be one of the safest constructed in our nation’s history.”

“It’s well past time for this project to be approved as it will improve the quality of life for all Nebraskans and the nation as a whole. Our communities and economy are best served by responsible energy policies implemented after pragmatic and responsible reviews. That is exactly what has happened with this project. Given this history we urge the U.S. State Department to approve the new route as expeditiously as possible.”

Nebraska based economist Ernie Goss estimates construction will bring $1.8 billion in new economic investment to Nebraska and create over 5,000 jobs.