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Keystone XL Opponents Fear Approval Of Nebraska Pipeline Bill

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline proposal say a Nebraska bill on the verge of final lawmaker approval would effectively rubber-stamp the project.

Lawmakers are scheduled for a final vote Wednesday on a bill that would allow the state Department of Environmental Quality to resume its review of the proposed crude-oil pipeline. A federal permit was denied in January.

Opponents say they're concerned because the department is part of Gov. Dave Heineman's administration. Heineman supports the project.

The bill also requires an evaluation of the social, environmental and economic impact of any proposed route. But Ken Winston of the Nebraska Sierra Club says that wording lacks teeth, because the bill doesn't define any of those impacts or specify whether they should factor into the final decision.

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