01/22/2013 03:54 EST | Updated 03/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Alberta pleased with Nebraska OK on Keystone XL, but notes Obama has final say

EDMONTON - Alberta's energy minister says he is pleased to hear that a major hurdle has been cleared on the Keystone XL pipeline.

But Ken Hughes says Keystone, which will ship oilsands bitumen to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, is just one part of the puzzle.

Hughes says the province still needs pipelines to eastern Canada and to the west coast to ship oil to booming markets in Asia.

He made the comments after Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama saying he would allow the pipeline to go through his state.

Critics in Nebraska have said the line threatens an ecologically sensitive aquifer, but Heineman told Obama he is content with a revised route that avoids the area.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who has been pushing for the Keystone line, says in a news release that she, too, is pleased with the latest development, but says the final decision rests with Obama.