GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - Opponents and supporters of the Keystone XL oil pipeline are converging on a Nebraska town for what could become a pivotal moment for the project. The U.S. State Department hearing Thursday in Grand Island is expected to draw at least several hundred people from Nebraska, as well as out-of-state activists from both sides who consider the state a key battleground.
After months of quiet, a State Department report has cleared the way for a final decision on the plan to transport oil extracted from Alberta tar sands more than 1,700 miles, to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Opponents are now focused on the new Secretary of State, John Kerry, who will make a recommendation to President Barack Obama on whether to green-light the project.