Pipeline Fight Moves from Nebraska to DC


The nation waits on Nebraska no more. Governor Dave Heineman this week gave his go-ahead on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Now attention turns to President Obama.

"We were waiting for Nebraska to make its decision," State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

From the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln to the nation's capitol, Governor Dave Heineman's letter of support for the Keystone XL Pipeline has set off a chain reaction.

But the final say will come from President Obama, after the U.S. State Department completes its evaluation.

Nuland said, "We will obviously take that letter and Nebraska's environmental report into consideration as we continue our federal review process."

53 senators, including nine Democrats quickly reacted to Nebraska's announcement, saying the nation needs to do business with Canada, especially when it comes to oil.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska told reporters, "When we can receive that from friends and allies, as opposed to those who dislike us or really who don't want to have anything to do with us or who will use that as leverage against us, if we've got an opportunity to change that dynamic, why don't we do that yesterday?"

Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns says he's given careful consideration to the environmental concerns.

He said, "The original route through the Sandhills was not the right choice and I could not be supportive of that. Now a new route has been approved in Nebraska, President and Department of State need to move forward on the project."

Groups like Bold Nebraska fault the governor for not stopping the project.

Ben Gotschall said, "It's obviously a disappointing reversal of his previous position."

"Dear President Obama," the group's supporters write in a campaign by Bold Nebraska to get the attention of the White House.

Leaders of Bold Nebraska say President Obama can't take a stand on climate change in his inaugural and then support the pipeline.

That puts the president in a difficult decision, which could come soon.

"I don't want to get ahead of that process," White House Spokesman Jay Carney said this week.

Bold Nebraska plans a rally Monday at the State Capitol and then next month in Washington.