Nebraska lawmakers are set to begin debate on an oil pipeline bill prompted by opposition to the Keystone XL project, which would carry crude oil from Canada to Texas.
The Nebraska Legislature is convening Monday afternoon to examine a measure that would give pipeline-routing authority to Gov. Dave Heineman. Oil pipeline developers would need governors to certify their proposed route before they could proceed in Nebraska. The bill (LB4) by Sen. Chris Langemeier of Schuyler is the first to reach the floor during the Legislature's special session. The Keystone XL has drawn strong opposition because it would cross the loose-soil Nebraska Sandhills and part of the Ogallala aquifer, a massive groundwater supply.
The U.S. State Department has said it will delay its decision on the project until 2013.