The speaker of the Nebraska Legislature says the developer of a contested oil pipeline will move its route away from the state's Sandhills area and the Ogallala aquifer, an underground water supply.
Mike Flood made the announcement Monday during a special session. Lawmakers were considering a bill that would give Gov. Dave Heineman routing authority over the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed pipeline would carry crude oil from Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.
The decision follows the federal government's announcement last week that it would delay a decision on a federal permit for the project until it studies new potential routes that avoid environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska.
TransCanada, the company proposing the pipeline, declined to comment but plans to hold a news conference later Monday.