Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline demonstrate on the Dodge Street pedestrian bridge during rush hour in Omaha, Neb., on Nov. 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Nati Harnik

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission has approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a 3 to 2 vote, clearing the last major regulatory hurdle for the controversial $10 billion project.

The panel’s approval came with a tight margin of victory for the pipeline, which would transport about 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Hardisty, Alta. to Steele City, Neb.

The vote comes as TransCanada continues to clean up a 5,000-barrel oil spill from its pipeline in nearby South Dakota that opponents have pointed to as reason not to approve Keystone XL.

Among other concerns, opponents of the 1,897-kilometre Keystone XL project say the pipeline would pass through the Sandhills, an ecologically fragile region in Nebraska of grass-covered sand dunes, and would cross the land of farmers and ranchers who don’t want it.

The commission, however, was specifically prohibited from evaluating safety considerations, including risk or impact of a spill, and will instead rule on issues including regulatory compliance, economic and social impacts of the project, the potential intrusion on natural resources, and whether better routes exist.

Barack Obama rejected Keystone XL in 2015 after years of review, only for President Donald Trump to give the go-ahead to the project in March, saying the pipeline will bring jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Ponoka County wants more information prior to approving permit

Council not satisfied, wants better details about work site and other issues

Ponoka County, Rimbey approve recreation deal

Agreement worked out as part of ICF negotiations

Ponoka wilderness survivalist takes on ‘Alone: The Beast’

Show premieres Feb. 13, episode featuring Edwards airs Feb. 20

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Canada’s flag was flown for first time 55 years ago today

The flag is used to celebrate wins in sports, honour Canada Day, and flown at half-mast after tragedy

No shirts, no city services: Firefighter calendar too steamy for Ontario officials

The city has never funded the calendars, but has OK’d photoshoots at city-owned properties

CFL teams under the microscope after free agency begins

While some big names remain, here’s what lies ahead leading up to next month’s CFL combine in Toronto

Most Read