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Nebraska county board rejects anti-pipeline measure

YORK, Neb. (AP) -- A board of county commissioners on Tuesday rejected a resolution opposing placement of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in the southeast Nebraska county.

Three commissioners opposed the measure and two supported it, the York News-Times reported.

The measure said the board "... realizes the risks of tar sand and crude oil pipelines to our resources in York County and oppose any pipelines of this nature."

An earlier version tabled by the board at its July 9 meeting included a sentence that committed the board to using its powers to protect the county residents' health and the county's natural resources.

County officials had said their power to regulate pipelines was limited, and an attempt to impose safety restrictions could trigger a lawsuit.

The resolutions were submitted by some York County landowners calling themselves the Good Life Alliance. The alliance said it's concerned about what the county can do to protect residents' water, soil, livelihoods and health should there ever be a spill. They said they were also concerned about road conditions and other situations that might arise during construction and throughout the pipeline's life.

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline have turned to local and county officials in recent months in an effort to strengthen resistance to the project.

The much-debated Keystone XL pipeline could carry 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canadian tar sands to refineries on the Texas Gulf coast.

The Obama administration is still considering whether to approve the project. Supporters say the project will create jobs and stimulate economic growth, while opponents argue that the project contributes to global warming and could contaminate underground water supplies.