April 11, 2012(Key vote)
Title: Authorizes Land Study in Nebraska for Keystone XL Pipeline Route
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that authorizes the Governor to approve proposed oil pipeline routes through Nebraska.
- Authorizes a pipeline carrier to request approval prior to acquiring land through the exercise of the power of eminent domain for a proposed oil pipeline route, or any substantial route changes, from the Governor or by submitting an application to the Public Service Commission, whereas existing law requires carriers to request approval only by submitting an application to the Public Service Commission (Sec. 1).
- Requires eminent domain to be exercised within 2 years of approval (Sec. 1).
- Requires the pipeline carrier to submit an application for construction of a “major pipeline” to the Public Service Commission for approval if the proposed oil pipeline route does not first receive approval by the Governor (Sec. 6).
- Prohibits the Public Service Commission from withholding documents or records related to an oil pipeline project from the public, unless the documents are otherwise protected by Nebraska or Federal Law (Sec. 3).
- Authorizes the Department of Environmental Quality to conduct a review of any proposed oil pipeline route in accordance with the Federal review process (Sec. 7).
- Specifies that the purpose of a review by the Department of Environmental Quality is to be included in a federal agency's National Environmental Policy Act review process (Sec. 7).
- Appropriates $2 million from the Department of Environmental Quality Cash Fund for fiscal year 2012-2013 to the Department of Environmental Quality to pay for the review of proposed oil pipeline routes (Sec. 8).
- Requires a pipeline carrier to reimburse the Department of Environmental Quality for the cost of a review within 60 days after notification from the department of the amount (Sec. 7).
- Requires that the review process by the Department of Environmental Quality include at least 1 public hearing and an opportunity for the public to comment and review the carrier's proposal (Sec. 7).
NOTE: A BILL WITH AN EMERGENCY CLAUSE REQUIRES A SEPARATE TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF THE LEGISLATURE FOR THE CLAUSE TO PASS. IF THE CLAUSE IS PASSED, THE BILL GOES INTO EFFECT IMMEDIATELY UPON THE GOVERNOR'S SIGNATURE.