(Lincoln, Nebraska) - Transcanada Corporation announced today it would work with the State of Nebraska to re-route it's proposed Keystone XL pipeline project to avoid the ecologically sensitive Sandhills region of the state.
The announcement follows last week's announcement by the U.S State Department that it would take another look at the proposed pipeline. The State Department has been looking at the proposed 1700 mile pipeline project for three years, and the announcement last week indicated a decision on granting a permit for the project is at least another year away.
Transcanada wants to build the pipeline to carry tar sands oil from Alberta to the Cushing, Okla. storage hub, and further south to Gulf Coast refining markets.
The project has become a focus of environmental groups opposed to tar sands oil production, and labor groups who want to see the pipeline build for the jobs it would provide.
In a new release from Transcanada, the company announced " it supports proposed legislation within the State of Nebraska to move the Keystone XL pipeline project forward. This legislation, introduced earlier today in the State legislature, if passed, will ensure a pipeline route will be developed in Nebraska that avoids the Sandhills."
"I am pleased to tell you that the positive conversations we have had with Nebraska leaders have resulted in legislation that respects the concerns of Nebraskans and supports the development of the Keystone XL pipeline," said Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada's president, Energy and Oil Pipelines. "I can confirm the route will be changed and Nebraskans will play an important role in determining the final route."
"Working together with the State Department, Nebraska's Department of Environmental Quality will conduct an environmental assessment to define the best location for Keystone XL in Nebraska. We will cooperate with these agencies and provide them with the information they need to complete a thorough review that addresses concerns regarding the Sandhills region."
You can read the entire news release from Transcanada here.