New bill offers more control over pipelines


For Nebraskans who felt powerless to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, a few state lawmakers have proposed an answer. State Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton introduced the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Notification Act, LB 340, Jan. 12 that would require pipeline operators to undergo an extensive application process and seek final approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission before pumping oil through the state. The bill also calls for public hearings to be held on any potential pipeline. It would restrict the right of eminent domain until the state approved the project. If passed prior to a federal decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, the bill would apply to that project. The U.S. State Department is currently reviewing the environmental impact of the pipeline and is expected to approve or deny a permit to build early this year. In Nebraska, the pipeline would cross the Niobrara and North Platte Rivers and run through the heart of the Ogallala Aquifer — the state’s largest source of drinking and irrigation water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


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