Share “Judge invalidates law allowing pipeline...”

Judge invalidates law allowing pipeline route in Nebraska

A Nebraska justice struck down the law, saying landowners were improperly forced to sell land along the route.
Published: February 20, 2014
Advertisement

— A Nebraska judge on Wednesday struck down a law that allowed the Keystone XL pipeline to proceed through the state, a victory for opponents who have tried to block the project that would carry oil from Canada to Texas refineries.

Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy issued a ruling that invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman’s approval of the route. Stacy agreed with opponents’ arguments that the law passed in 2011 improperly allowed Heineman to give Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. the power to force landowners to sell their property for the project. Stacy said the decision to give TransCanada eminent domain powers should have been made by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which regulates pipelines and other utilities.

A spokeswoman for Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said the state will appeal the ruling.

Stacy’s decision could cause more delays in finishing the pipeline, which is critical in Canada’s efforts to export its growing oil sands production. It also comes amid increased concerns about the dangers of using trains to transport crude oil after some high-profile accidents — including a fiery explosion in North Dakota last month and an explosion that killed 47 people in Canada last year.

A spokesman for pipeline developer TransCanada said company officials were disappointed and disagreed with the decision, which came in a lawsuit filed by three Nebraska landowners who oppose the pipeline. The company planned to review the ruling before deciding how to proceed.

“TransCanada continues to believe strongly in Keystone XL and the benefits it would provide to Americans — thousands of jobs and a secure supply of crude oil from a trusted neighbor in Canada,” said spokesman Shawn Howard.

Continue reading this story on the...


Also ...

Ruling called win for opponents

Pipeline opponents called Wednesday’s ruling a victory for landowners.

“TransCanada learned a hard lesson today: Never underestimate the power of family farmers and ranchers protecting their land and water,” said Jane Kleeb, executive director of the anti-pipeline group Bold Nebraska.

Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said it would be difficult to comment on the ruling because the Canadian government doesn’t yet have the details. MacDonald said the pipeline will create thousands of jobs and noted the U.S. State Department has concluded it is a project that is in the interest of both countries.

U.S. State Department spokesman Douglas Frantz said officials were aware of the Nebraska ruling but would not comment because the case was ongoing.

Daniel J. Weiss, director of climate strategy with the think tank Center for American Progress, said President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will probably wait until Nebraska has legally approved the pipeline route before deciding whether to approve its permit.

Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Report: Mavericks agree to deal to get Rajon Rondo from Celtics
  2. 2
    Oklahoma, Nebraska file lawsuit over Colorado's marijuana law; AG Suthers responds
  3. 3
    Justin Fuente, Memphis agree to contract extension
  4. 4
    Matt Kemp's arthritic hips hold up deal with Padres
  5. 5
    This Incredible Dog Has A New Lease On Life Thanks To 3D Printing
+ show more