Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman is concerned the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route through the state is a "done deal," but pointed to the Obama administration as the final decision-maker.
Heineman said Wednesday that the Obama administration could effectively force pipeline operator TransCanada to reroute the line if it denied the permit. Heineman said the company would likely rather move the pipe than lose the project altogether.
Farmers, ranchers and other Nebraskans who oppose the project are urging the U.S. State Department to deny the permit during hearings this week.
The Republican governor has said he opposes the proposed pipeline route through the Ogallala aquifer, a massive underground U.S. water supply, but would support the project if it was moved somewhere else.