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Nebraskan Regulators Give Keystone XL Pipeline the Green Light

23 November 2017

The lawsuit was brought in March by the Indigenous Environmental Network, Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups against the administration and TransCanada, which is building the pipeline.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Montana disagreed, saying members of the organizations live in the states through which the pipeline would be built and "highly value and have studied the ... protected specials whose habitat the Keystone XL Pipeline threatens".

So, it will not take into account a spill of 210,000 gallons of oil on the existing Keystone pipeline in South Dakota announced on Thursday.

"As a result of today's decision, we will conduct a careful review of the Public Service Commission's ruling while assessing how the decision would impact the cost and schedule of the project", CEO Russ Girling said in a statement. She said that the pipeline was not in the state's public interest, that jobs would not go to Nebraskans, that it would create "significant burdens" on landowners whose use of the pipeline corridor would be limited, and that she was still anxious about the environmental impact. In its submissions, TransCanada had portrayed the alternative route as unworkable. The so-called Mainline Alternative Route draws the XL closer to the alignment of the Keystone pipeline, its 7-year-old sister, which transports more than 500,000 barrels of Alberta tar sands oil daily to refinery hubs in Oklahoma and IL.

And while the final approval should mean that construction can begin, the realities are more complex, and even TransCanada itself says it will now have to review a number of factors relating to the pipeline's economic and political feasibility.

Families celebrate National Adoption Day at Family Court
"This is just the next layer of our family to make sure we're together forever", said Tawnie Baranica. All of the children were adopted out of Ramsey County, but the families came from all over the state.

The three PSC Republican commissioners who voted for the project carried the vote over objections from one Democrat and one Republican commissioner.

The impetus for the controversial pipeline has been to provide transportation for the thick bitumen produced in Alberta to the gulf coast. Since rail is a more expensive form of transport, heavy Canadian crude prices will need to trade at a bigger discount to West Texas Intermediate futures. Opponents say they'll challenge the Nebraska Commission's decision in court. President Donald Trump vowed to reverse that determination and, in January, invited the company to reapply. If TransCanada wants to proceed, it faces years of additional state regulatory review and court proceedings.

The Obama administration refused to permit Keystone XL in 2015, in large part over environmental concerns. He also championed completion of the Energy Transfer Partners LP-led Dakota Access Pipeline, which runs from northwestern North Dakota to IL via South Dakota and Iowa.

TransCanada has an approved path through Nebraska if they choose to go forward with the Keystone XL project in the state.

Nebraskan Regulators Give Keystone XL Pipeline the Green Light