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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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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.