360-degree look at reaction to Keystone XL pipeline approval

US state of Nebraska clears path for Keystone XL pipeline

US state of Nebraska clears path for Keystone XL pipeline

The independent commission had come under pressure from the Nebraska state legislature and labor unions to approve the pipeline while environmental groups and prairie populists have vowed to appeal, if necessary, to the courts and follow that up with civil disobedience. President Donald Trump reversed that decision in March.

According to TransCanada, the Keystone pipeline system delivers Canadian and US crude oil supplies to markets around North America, stretching 4,324 kilometers (2,687 miles) in length.

"Americans fought the Keystone Pipeline, because we knew it endangered our nation's water and a stable climate", Environment America's Global Warming Director Andrea McGimsey said in a statement after the spill.

The Nebraska decision comes on the heels of the pipeline spilling 210,000 gallons of heavy tar sands crude in northeastern South Dakota.

The voice of opposition was magnified last week when the existing Keystone pipeline leaked 5,000 barrels of oil in South Dakota. Last month a pipeline project owned by Plains All American, Marathon Petroleum and BP Oil Pipeline, which takes oil from Louisiana to IL, said it might reverse course to run south, adding to concerns about a potential glut of capacity.

US state of Nebraska clears path for Keystone XL pipeline

"All new pipelines from Alberta, including Kinder Morgan's expansion project to the B.C. coast, Enbridge's line 9 to the east, or the Keystone XL going south the US, mean more Alberta bitumen extraction, which represents one of the most polluting sources of fossil fuel production in the world", declared Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). The current pipeline runs through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas and extends east into Missouri and IL.

"As a result of today's decision, we will conduct a careful review of the Public Service Commission's ruling while assessing how the decision would impact the cost and schedule of the project", said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer. He offered no further comment. But the pipeline company will not be allowed to build along its preferred route, the regulators announced, opening up new questions about how the project will proceed.

The alternative route would then run alongside the existing pipeline until it connects with that pipeline in Steele City, Nebraska.

Commissioners approved an order giving TransCanada permission to build the $8 billion Keystone XL Pipeline using the Mainline Alternative Route.

Nebraska was the last jurisdiction to approve the pipeline's route, which begins in Alberta, then crosses into Saskatchewan, as well as USA states of Montana and South Dakota before reaching the existing line in Steele City in Nebraska.

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TransCanada has so far spent $3 billion USA on the 1,900-kilometres pipeline and has said it would make a final investment decision by December, based on commercial support and Nebraska's regulatory approval.

Jane Kleeb, heads the pipeline opposition group Bold Alliance.

"The decision by Nebraska essentially diminishes the political risk in the equation, and longer-term, should this pipeline get built, it will be the Western Canadian producers who will likely emerge the big winners".

The federal government has a say in whether the pipeline is built because it crosses an global border from Canada.

"When TransCanada originally proposed the route, the energy economy was different".

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Nebraska's decision overrode the objections of environmental groups, Native American tribes and landowners along the pipeline's prospective route.

President Barack Obama's administration rejected the pipeline in 2015.

The so-called Mainline Alternative Route draws the XL closer to the alignment of the Keystone pipeline, its 7-year-old sister, which transports more than 500,000 barrels of Alberta tar sands oil daily to refinery hubs in Oklahoma and IL.

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