The new route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline was approved Tuesday by Kansas Republican Gov. Dave Heineman completing the local environmental review process and putting the final approval back into the hands of President Barack Obama.
Heineman told Obama in a letter that the new route will avoid fragile areas and that the pipeline would bring $418 million in economic benefits including $16 million in use taxes.
Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who urged Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to complete the final process to approve the federal permit needed to begin construction, applauded the decision.
“Nebraska’s approval of a new Keystone XL pipeline route means there is no bureaucratic excuse, hurdle, or catch President Obama can use to delay this project any further,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “He and he alone stands in the way of tens of thousands of new jobs and energy security. Every state along the proposed route supports this project, as does a bipartisan coalition in Congress and a majority of Americans. I recognize all the political pressure the president faces, but with our energy security at stake and many jobs in limbo, he should find a way to say yes.”