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TransCanada files new route for Keystone XL pipeline

Route avoids sensitive Sandhills region that led Obama to veto plan in January.

Keystone moving againEnlarge
President Barack Obama arrives at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline on March 22, 2012, in Cushing, Okla. Obama is pressing federal agencies to expedite the section of the Keystone XL pipeline between Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast. (Tom Pennington/AFP/Getty Images)

TransCanada Energy submitted a new route today for the much-debated Keystone XL oil pipeline, The Associated Press reported.

The route avoids the sensitive Sandhills region in Nebraska that led President Barack Obama to veto the plan in January.

TransCanada submitted more than one alternate route to environment officials in Nebraska today, the AP said.

Opponents and proponents alike could learn as soon as Thursday more about the proposed changes.

A Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality representative said details of the 1,700-mile pipeline from northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico could be posted on the internet this week.

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The proposal comes on the same day that the House of Representatives voted in favour of expediting Keystone – the fourth time in two years they have done so – Reuters reported.

The House voted 293-127 in favour of extending highway and infrastructure funding, a bill in which Keystone was attached.

Reuters said 69 of 190 Democrats supported the initiative, but that might not stop Obama from rejecting the bill because it forces him to relinquish control of Keystone.

“We’ll keep swinging,” Rep. Lee Terry (R–Neb.) told Reuters. “It may not be the last rodeo.”

On Tuesday, Nebraska lawmakers approved legislation that resumed the review process, Fox News said.

Republican Gov. Dave Heineman called the review process a “top priority.”

“Nebraska will move forward on the review process of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and any future pipelines that will create jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil,” he said in a prepared release.

The $7-billion project purports to ship oil from the tar sands of northern Alberta to refineries at the Gulf.

Environmental challengers suggest it does nothing to wean the world off fossil fuels, while supporters say it creates jobs.

In March, Obama said he supported building the southern leg of Keystone south from Oklahoma.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/120418/transcanada-files-new-route-keystone-xl-pipeline