Pipeline company TransCanada opted to propose an alternative route for Keystone XL to avoid a sensitive groundwater area in the state. A measure proposed by Keystone XL opponents to the York County commission in eastern Nebraska would have put the county on record against the pipeline.
County legislatures said they objected to the phrase "will exercise the full extent of its powers to protect the health and welfare of the citizens and resources" from the pipeline, the Lincoln Journal Star reported Tuesday.
The issue comes as the U.S. State Department reviews public comments on its draft assessment of the pipeline. Keystone XL requires a federal permit because it would cross the U.S.-Canadian border. A U.S.-leg of the pipeline from Oklahoma is under construction.
The American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's lobbying group, unveiled a new advertising campaign Tuesday expressing support for the pipeline project. It features backers ranging from former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal.
"Keystone XL is one rare national issue that attracts consistent support across the political spectrum," API Downstream Manager Cindy Schild said in a statement.
Keystone XL supporters say the pipeline would bring more jobs to the United States and ensure North American energy security. Opponents say the pipeline comes with too many environmental risks.