Nebraska's governor approved a revised route for the Keystone XL pipeline through his state Tuesday, which puts final approval in the hands of the Obama administration, The New York Times reported.

The decision came a day after President Barack Obama pledged in his inaugural address to tackle climate change in his second term. Opponents of the pipeline, which would bring heavy crude oil from tar sands formations in Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast, say that its extraction and consumption will significantly worsen global warming and that Obama's decision will be a test of his intentions.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, said in a letter to Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that his state's review found that the new route avoided sensitive lands and aquifers. Heineman had rejected the previous route a year ago on the grounds that construction of the pipeline threatened Nebraska's Sand Hills region and that a spill could contaminate the critical Ogallala aquifer.

Heineman said that the pipeline's operator, TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., had assured him and state environmental officials that the chances of a spill would be minimized and that the company would assume all responsibility for a cleanup in case of an accident.