November 18, 2011 / 4:21 PM / in 6 years

Nebraska lawmakers see pipeline bill vote Tuesday

LINCOLN, Nebraska (Reuters) - The bill that would reroute the Keystone XL pipeline away from the ecologically sensitive Sandhills region in Nebraska was advanced on Friday for a final vote early next week.

On a voice vote, state lawmakers approved a measure that would authorize Nebraska to pay up to $2 million for an environmental study of a new pipeline route for the TransCanada Corp oil pipeline.

The bill also gives Republican Governor Dave Heineman the final say on the new route.

There was little debate on the bill Friday, but Senator Ken Haar said during the legislative session that he wanted to make sure that TransCanada would move the route for the Canada-to-Texas pipeline.

“There has never been a written agreement,” said Speaker Mike Flood, who reached the agreement with TransCanada. “They did voluntarily say, in front of us and the media, that they would move the pipeline out of the Sandhills.”

Lawmakers have scheduled a final vote on the measure Tuesday.

Reporting by Michael Avok; Editing by David Bailey and Jim Marshall

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