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updated: 1/22/2013 11:44 AM

Neb. governor OKs Keystone XL route through state

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Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved a new route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that avoids the state's environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.

Heineman sent a letter Tuesday to President Barack Obama confirming that he would allow the controversial project to proceed in his state.

The pipeline has faced strong resistance in Nebraska from a coalition of landowners and environmental groups who say it would contaminate the Ogallala aquifer, a massive groundwater supply.

Canadian pipeline developer TransCanada and some workers' unions say the project is safe and will create thousands of jobs.

The original route would have run the pipeline through a region of erodible, grass-covered sand dunes. The new route skirts that area.

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