By August 7, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Nebraska opens hearings on Keystone XL pipeline

Keystone XL

Hundreds showed up to protest the Keystone XL pipeline in Lincoln, Nebraska on Sunday, one day ahead of the Nebraska Public Service Commission hearings on the controversial pipeline. Lincoln Journal Star photo by Amber Baesler.

Keystone XL hearings last big hurdle for pipeline

Final hearings for the Keystone XL pipeline are underway in Nebraska this week as regulators in the Cornhusker State consider the controversial pipeline approved by US President Donald Trump in March.

The hearing is the final big regulatory hurdle for TransCanada Corp’s 1,897 Km project which has been a lightening rod of controversy for nearly 10 years.  The pipeline has already been granted an environmental permit for Nebraska.

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Those opposed to the project that would send Alberta oil sands dilbit to US refineries are concerned about spills and global warming while proponents say the line could help lower fuel prices, boost national security and create jobs.

On Sunday, hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Lincoln in a rally at the Nebraska Capitol.

Jane Kleeb, organizer and head of Bold Nebraska said the Keystone XL pipeline has been stopped before and will be stopped again.

“There is absolutely no reason that the public service commission would grant a permit to a foreign corporation … shipping foreign tar sands to the foreign export market all for their bottom line, when that has nothing to do with Nebraska’s public interest,” Kleeb told the Lincoln Journal Star.

Opponents, including native tribes, landowners and environmentalists, argue any jobs generated by the construction of the pipeline are only temporary and the risks to local industries like cattle ranching are too great.  They are also concerned that, if the commission approves the pipeline, TransCanada could seize property along the pipeline route by using eminent domain law.

Those in favour of the pipeline argue the project will create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue.

In March, the Trump administration gave TransCanada a federal permit for the pipeline, reversing former President Barack Obama’s rejection of the pipeline.  President Obama denied the pipeline on environmental grounds.

Following Trump’s stamp of approval, Keystone XL still needs an okay from Nebraska regulators.  Nebraska is the last of three states needed to approve the pipelines proposed route.

The state’s regulators will weigh if the pipeline is in the state’s interest.  Its decision is expected by November.

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