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New proposed Keystone XL pipeline route unveiled

Associated Press Modified: April 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm •  Published: April 19, 2012

Environmentalists say the pipeline still threatens Nebraska's water and wildlife, and they dispute company claims that it will create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs and reduce the nation's dependence on oil from hostile foreign nations.

The review is expected to cost as much as $2 million. The state has spent roughly $153,000 since November but stopped the analysis after the permit was denied.

Jane Kleeb, executive director of the group Bold Nebraska, said the proposed corridors still cross the Sandhills and the Ogallala aquifer, a groundwater supply that lies beneath Nebraska and smaller parts of seven other states.

"All of the routes are unacceptable and show once again we cannot trust TransCanada," Kleeb said.

TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said the new corridor proposals avoid the Sandhills, as they were identified by the state.

"Once again, this process is back in the hands of Nebraskans, who overwhelmingly support the safe construction and operation of this critical North American energy infrastructure project," he said.

Opponents say the project should be reviewed by the state's Public Service Commission, an independently elected group that regulates utilities.