On Monday, TransCanada Corp. announced that it reached an agreement with the Nebraska state government to amend the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to bypass the Sandhills region, an environmentally sensitive area that sits atop the heavily-utilized Ogallala Aquifer. As part of the agreement, the state will fund studies to evaluate alternative routes.
Today, the Nebraska state legislature will consider the proposed law that will direct the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement for the Nebraska Governor.
This development follows last week’s U.S. State Department ruling that required TransCanada to examine new routes, as well as an earlier announcement by President Obama indicating that the decision whether to approve Keystone XL would be delayed until after the 2012 Presidential elections. A U.S. State Department spokesman indicated that any agreement between the state of Nebraska and TransCanada will not alter the review process undertaken by the federal agency.