Late Wednesday evening, the Natural Resources Committee advanced a bill to set forth regulations on pipeline routing.

The bill, which will be available on Thursday morning, was mostly Senator Langemeier’s bill with components of Senator Dubas’ bill.

“It’s the Governor’s special session and the Natural Resources Committee has advanced a bill to deal with the issue of the TransCanada risky pipeline route as well as any future oil pipelines,” said Jane Kleeb.  “It’s time for the Governor to get behind the bill and support it or offer a solution of his own. It is only with his active involvement that a bill can pass and that our land and water can be protected.”

If the bill is signed into law, oil pipeline companies will be required, before construction begins, to have their route certified by a panel with the Governor serving as the final decision maker. As written, the bill would affect the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline.

Citizens and landowners showed up in large numbers to testify this past week in support of a bill that, at a minimum, would reroute any oil pipelines out of the Sandhills and our of the heart of the Ogallala Aquifer. While this bill will not guarantee the re-route, it is a strong step in the right direction.

Further, since Governor Heineman has expressed numerous times he believes the pipeline route is too risky for our water and Sandhills, we can only expect if the bill makes it to his desk, he would re-route the current proposed pipeline path.

The Governor called for a special session. The Governor stated the pipeline’s current path is too risky. Citizens and landowners are watching if he will now act on his words…or if he will keep hiding.