LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Supporters and opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska squared off again Thursday in a congressional hearing in Washington.
The hearing was called by U.S. Rep. Lee Terry, a Nebraska Republican who supports the hotly disputed project. Opponents have urged President Barack Obama to reject a federal permit for the proposed Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, saying it doesn't serve U.S. energy interests and threatens Nebraska landowners.
According to a video of the hearing, Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Dennis Houston testified the first Keystone pipeline in Nebraska provided an economic boost to his area during the five-month construction period. Houston said the project created about 750 jobs in the area and generated millions of dollars of spending in the state.
"They all spend their money in our community and all of the neighboring community," Houston said. "It had an economic impact of more than $10 million, and that's a very conservative number."
Jane Kleeb, executive director of anti-pipeline group Bold Nebraska, argued the project poses an unnecessary risk to Nebraska landowners, with no long-term benefits. Kleeb said many of the jobs for the initial pipeline went to out-of-state workers.