Nebraska lawmakers mull over bill to reroute Keystone XL pipeline

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 11:05 am | More from The Michigan Messenger

As the Nebraska legislature prepares for a special session to discuss how to respond to the seemingly imminent approval of the Keystone XL pipeline by the U.S. State Department, an attorney there says a bill to reroute the pipeline may survive a legal challenge:

A prominent attorney advising Nebraska state senators said Tuesday that legislators can craft a law that influences routing of crude-oil pipelines without risking an expensive legal defeat.

The legal analysis, from Alan Peterson, a Lincoln attorney with experience in environmental regulatory issues, is sure to provide ammunition for senators seeking legislation to reroute the controversial Keystone XL pipeline around Nebraska’s ecologically sensitive Sand Hills…

“The fear of litigation should not lead us to inaction,” said State Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton, who is taking advice from Peterson in drafting a bill.

Nebraska legislators are worried that a spill from the pipeline would do great damage not only to the Sand Hills but to the Ogalala aquifer as well, which supplies nearly all of the freshwater for the state.

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