LINCOLN, Neb. —
"This is a no-brainer: We'll back our taxpayers," said Ralph Metschke, a Holt County commissioner.
York County Commissioner Tom Shellington says he now understands landowners' argument that the intrusion isn't justified.
"All we're doing here is putting the pipeline down, shipping the oil to Texas, refining it and sending it overseas. I just don't see much benefit for Nebraska — but I don't know if we have any power if the president approves it."
Opponents are asking county officials to push for noise restrictions during construction, local agreements to restore damaged land, and permitting fees for inspections and running a pipeline beneath county roads.
In August, Nebraska opponents plan to erect two barns with solar panels and wind turbines directly in the pipeline's path — a move designed to force developer TransCanada to run the pipeline around them or invoke eminent domain power to destroy them. Organizers have raised $10,000 of the $65,000 needed to build the structures.