November 27, 2017

Nebraska Regulators Vote To Allow Keystone Pipeline Project To Move Forward, But Along A Different Route

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission (PSC) voted 3-2 last week to approve an alternative route for the Keystone XL Pipeline to take through the state.

TransCanada, the company that owns Keystone, prefers another route so the future of the pipeline is now in doubt. The company issued a statement after the ruling saying that it will evaluate what to do next and how much an alternative route will cost.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, State Sen. Jim Smith said the PSC ruling “creates unnecessary uncertainty” about whether the project will move forward. The World-Herald explained the path approved by the PSC for the project “takes a 63-mile detour from the preferred route and would parallel, for about 100 miles, the existing Keystone pipeline that TransCanada put into operation in 2010.” The new path “will require new right of way contracts with at least 40 landowners, some of whom may not have realized that their land was on a pipeline route.”

Environmental groups that oppose the pipeline celebrated the PSC’s action. Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska told the World-Herald that the decision “throws the project into a complete question mark.” Sierra Club attorney Ken Winston said, “This decision opens up a whole new bag of (legal) issues that we can raise.”