The controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline received a boost on
Friday when Nebraska regulators said its proposed new route would
avoid many of the ecologically-sensitive areas that led the U.S.
government to block it last year, Reuters reported.
The new route for the $5.3 billion Alberta-to-Nebraska pipeline,
backed by TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO), would avoid the ecologically
sensitive Sand Hills region but would still cross part of the
massive Ogallala aquifer, the Nebraska environment regulator
If built, Keystone XL would link Canada's booming oil sands
production with the refineries and ports of Texas' Gulf Coast,
carrying some 830,000 barrels of oil per day. The project has been
targeted by environmentalists concerned about carbon emissions from
oil sands production and the risks posed by oil spills to water
supplies in the Midwest.
The U.S. State Department is working with Nebraska as it forms
its own environmental assessment of pipeline that is one piece of a
continental realignment of oil flows between Canada and the United
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman now has 30 days to decide
whether he supports the new Keystone XL route.
The State Department has said it will soon release its
environmental assessment of Keystone XL, a necessary step before
the Obama administration decides the fate of the project, which is
expected to be in the coming months.
President Barack Obama last year rejected TransCanada's initial
Keystone XL application after environmentalists raised concerns
about the Nebraska route.
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