Governor Calls Special Session for Pipeline

Governor Dave Heineman is bringing lawmakers back to work early to see if anything can be done about the Keystone Pipeline XL route.

Heineman announced his special session plans on Monday afternoon.

The governor has asked the Obama administration to deny the permit because he doesn't like the route going over the Nebraska Sand Hills & Ogallala Aquifer -- which provides groundwater to five states.

Until now, he's been reluctant to call for a special session.

“...I believe Nebraskans are expecting our best efforts to determine if alternatives exist," said Governor Heineman. "Therefore, I will be calling a special session of the Nebraska Legislature to have a thoughtful and thorough public discussion about alternative solutions that could impact the route of the pipeline in a legal and constitutional manner.”

Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature Mike Flood believes there are significant barriers to enacting a siting law that would affect the Keystone route. "If a solution is to be found that does more than present a short-term, feel-good 'band-aid' to the legitimate concerns about the proposed route," said Flood, "I will carefully consider and thoughtfully act on such a bill. I believe that by acknowledging the legal issues head on and engaging in a reasoned process, rooted in the law, the citizens will benefit from the actions, if any, taken by the Legislature."

The special session will begin on November 1 and is expected to last two weeks.


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