LINCOLN, Neb. — A Nebraska panel has approved an alternative Keystone XL route, removing the last regulatory hurdle to the proposed pipeline project.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission’s ruling is on the Nebraska route TransCanada has proposed to complete the $8 billion, 1,179-mile pipeline to deliver oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. The proposed Keystone XL route would cross parts of Montana, South Dakota and most of Nebraska to Steele City, Nebraska.
The project was rejected by President Barack Obama in 2015, citing concerns about carbon pollution. President Donald Trump revived it in March, approving a permit.
The project has faced a barrage of criticism from environmental activists and some landowners for nearly a decade.
Reaction from opponents:
Opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline say a Nebraska commission’s decision to approve an alternative route will enable them to take actions that could indefinitely block the project.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission on Monday approved a route for the proposed pipeline, but it veers away from a route preferred by developer TransCanada and approved by the federal government.
Pipeline opponents already had planned to appeal the commission’s decision in court. They say the panel’s decision on Monday brings up new issues that could be challenged in court.
Ken Winston is an attorney representing environmental groups. He says the vote, “opens up a whole new bag of issues that we can raise.”
Jane Kleeb, heads the pipeline opposition group Bold Alliance. She says her group believes TransCanada will have to seek another federal review of the route in a process that could take years.