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August 26, 2019

Keystone Pipeline Clears Major Legal Hurdle In Nebraska

In a unanimous decision issued last Friday, August 23, the Nebraska Supreme Court approved the TC Energy’s (formerly TransCanada) proposed path through the state for the Keystone XL Pipeline. As The New York Times said, the move ends a “permitting battle that has stretched on for more than a decade.”

The ruling is significant, but it is not the last stage in the process. Three federal lawsuits are still alive in Montana that eventually still could block construction.

Mark LaCour, editor of Houston-based Oil and Gas Global Network, told the Omaha World-Herald that he does not expect those challenges to be successful and expects the pipeline to eventually be built. He explained that demand for the heavy crude oil that is pumped out of the tar sands region of western Canada is high and that, in the decade since the Keystone XL project was proposed, other pipelines have been built or upgraded.

That assessment could change, however, if the fight extends beyond 2020. As The Hill reports, Democratic presidential candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have signed a pledge to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline and end construction if they are elected president.