LINCOLN, Neb (Reuters) - Nebraska’s governor would have the authority to approve any pipelines that cross the state under a bill introduced on Wednesday.
The measure, introduced by State Senator Chris Langemeier who is head of the Natural Resources Committee, is the latest move in a heated debate over a plan for a major pipeline to transport oil sands crude from Canada to Texas refineries.
TransCanada Corp wants the pipeline to traverse the ecologically sensitive Nebraska Sand Hills and the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies water to U.S. Plains states.
The proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline has prompted strong opposition in Nebraska. Fearing an oil leak that could contaminate the water supply, opponents want the pipeline route moved.
Legislative Bill 4 was unveiled during a special session of the state legislature. Lawmakers are considering sitting rules and potential liability penalties involved with the proposed oil pipeline.
Reporting by Michael Avok; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Marguerita Choy