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Exclusive: Governor Denies Pipeline Flip-Flop

By   /   October 3, 2011  /   News  /   5 Comments

Nebraska Watchdog has learned that there is a new twist in the fight over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Governor Dave Heineman (R) is denying accusations (see exclusive video and script below) that he was for the XL’s Sandhills route before he was against it. The accusation comes from one of labor’s biggest pipeline supporters.

Nebraska Watchdog’s Joe Jordan reports.

Reported by Joe Jordan, [email protected]

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      Joe Jordan: When it comes to the fight over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline there’s a new accusation and it finds Governor Dave Heineman in the crosshairs. Pro pipeline labor leader Ron Kaminski tells NW that Heineman who recently came out against putting the pipeline in the Sandhills had been all for it, behind closed doors.

Ron Kaminski, Laborers Local 1140: I had meetings with the Governor where he thought that the project was a good idea and those meetings lasted over a two year period, so there was no indication to me ever that he was against the pipeline.

Joe Jordan: So when he, in your view, changed his mind you were shocked?

Ron Kaminski: I was shocked, correct.

     Joe Jordan: While Kaminski accuses Heineman of being for the pipeline out here in the Sandhills before he was against it a spokesperson for Heineman tells Nebraska Watchdog that the Governor’s office disagrees with Kaminski’s interpretation of Heineman’s position. TransCanada’s Robert Jones.

Joe Jordan: How surprised were you when Governor Heineman came out and said I’m okay with the pipeline but not through the Sandhills and over the Aquifer?

Robert Jones, TransCanada Vice-President: I think he was expressing a genuine concern that I have heard from other Nebraskans.

     Joe Jordan: Unlike Kaminski TransCanada is not throwing Heineman under the bus.

Joe Jordan: Had the Governor ever said to TransCanada before, that he was okay with the pipeline through the Sandhills?

Robert Jones: I wouldn’t say, uh my meetings with the Governor he’s always been very respectful, he’s always thanked me for the updates.

Joe Jordan: Never said one way or the other?

Robert Jones: That’s correct.

Ron Kaminski: I would say that it was very confusing to me personally after a series of meetings not only with the Governor but with TransCanada representatives talking about the project. I think it caught not only myself off guard but I think it caught a lot of people off guard.

Joe Jordan: When do you think that most recent meeting was that you heard that from him?

Ron Kaminski: It would have been a few months ago.


Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.


    This pipeline is not going to lower fuel costs for Americans. It simply carries the unrefined material down to the refineries on the gulf and from there it will go to anywhere in the world where the most profit is to be had.

    There is no guarantee that it will be consumed in the U.S.

    Why not push for development of our 150 year supply of domestic natural gas? It is cheaper,cleaner and readily available for own use in motor vehicles.

    And the profits for compressed natural gas are kept here and do not go to middle east countries who work every day trying to bring America down!

  • Snap

    –I wish everyone would stop pointing fingers at each other and remember the real issues. 1) Can Nebraska demand a shift in the route or deny permission to go through Nebraska? Answer; yes. 2) Will this provide hundreds of jobs? answer; maybe BUT they will be temporary jobs and more than likely Keystone will bring in their own people to do a majority of the work as they are experienced at this kind of work.

    –Personally I don’t care if Mr. Heineman was for or against the pipeline before. The question is now. From earlier articles it appears he is for the pipeline BUT with a shift in the route to avoid the aquifer. Sounds like a win-win situation for the ones affected by it (aquifer safer and jobs available). Now if Keystone doesn’t want to shift the route, they don’t have to go through Nebraska – it really isn’t up to them now is it? Thank you.

  • If I remember several past editorials have mentioned the gov’s failing to take a side on the issues. He talks about lower taxes and NE’s low employment …as if he had something to do with it. He’s a republican first and always pats himself on the back…glad to see him termed out…!

  • Perplexed

    I’m perplexed that Kaminski and company are looking at Dems for Congress who are torn over the pipeline , when Lee Terry supported the pipeline, pushing the Administration for a decision, and the union jobs it would create, but they aren’t talking about supporting him for re-election. “No good deed shall go un-punished”?

  • Joe Leaky

    You cant be too surprised about the governor. Heck that guy has had more waffles than I-Hop!

    Snap- you can do a lot of things just gotta remember to accept the consequences. Like law suites a la the low level radioactive dump, only this could be real expensive in the $1B plus range:)