LINCOLN, NE (WKOW) -- The governor of Nebraska has put his seal of approval on a plan to run a pipeline across the state.
The 1,700-mile keystone XL pipeline would run from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Because it crosses an international border, the White House says the State Department has the reins.
"As you know the State Department is conducting it's assessment as appropriate and as has been standard over the years on behalf of the Federal government," White House PRess Secretary Jay Carney said. "I don't wanna get ahead of that process. You know when the State Department has something to move forward on that issue, we'll obviously address that issue it when it does."
Environmental groups oppose the pipeline, arguing it puts an environmentally sensitive region at risk. They also say Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, who is a Republican, has done a huge political flip-flop by putting support behind a project he once opposed.
In a letter the White House and the State Department, Heineman said it avoids the environmentally-sensitive Sandhills region of the state. He also says the Keystone pipeline would generate more than $400 million for the state.
"The Nebraska re-route by Governor Heineman moves us one step closer to Americans receiving the benefits of Keystone XL; the enhanced energy security it will provide and the thousands of jobs it will create," Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and CEO officer, said in a statement.