Opposition wanes among Nebraska landowners, politicians ahead of hearing on Keystone XL line

Opponents and supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline are preparing to face off in Nebraska once again, but a new route for the project has helped reduce some local opposition.

Both sides will speak on the pipeline Thursday during a U.S. State Department hearing in Grand Island. The public forum comes before the department makes a recommendation to President Barack Obama on whether to build the $7.6 billion, Canada-to-Texas line.

National opponents have formed a new group, the "All Risk, No Reward Coalition," which recently ran television ads in a dozen major media markets. The group planned to air the ads Tuesday in Nebraska.

But local officials in several towns along the route say the pipeline no longer registers as a major concern.