WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today issued the following statement regarding reports that the U.S. State Department will reject the Keystone XL pipeline permit.
"The President apparently lacks faith in Nebraska's ability to select a route. By arguing that the Nebraska route could force them to deny the permit, he's implying Nebraska can't get it right. There is no legitimate justification for the delay. To suggest a few dozen miles of the route in Nebraska – which will be identified by the Governor, consistent with the law – affects the overall public interest for more than 1,600 miles of pipeline is laughable and reeks of political gamesmanship. The President says he wants to help create jobs, but when presented with an opportunity to create tens of thousands of jobs in middle America, he turns his head. This is pure politics aimed at not riling up his base during an election year."
The State Department in November announced it would work concurrently with the state of Nebraska and TransCanada to find a responsible route for the pipeline around the Sand Hills. In December, Congress passed legislation requiring the President to approve or reject the non-Nebraska portions of the pipeline within 60 days, while leaving Nebraska time to determine its route.