South Dakota again approves Keystone XL permit

Keystone, Veto
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South Dakota regulators on Tuesday approved permits for the Keystone XL pipeline, clearing the way for the development of the pipeline there should federal officials ever allow the project to move forward.

The state Public Utilities Commission voted 3-0 Tuesday to approve the pipeline’s path through the state, The Associated Press reports. The commission originally issued the license in 2010, but it lapsed after four years of no construction.

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Keystone developer TransCanada has said it is still hoping to build the 1,200-mile pipeline despite President Obama’s rejection of the project in November. Because Keystone crosses an international border, it requires a presidential permit.

The project's future, however, is likely contingent on a change of party control in the White House. Obama opposes the project, as do the Democratic candidates looking to replace him. Republicans running for the White House overwhelmingly support the pipeline. 

Keystone faces a string of other challenges, as well, including a lawsuit from homeowners in Nebraska. In November, after Obama rejected the project, TransCanada withdrew its request that the Nebraska Public Service Commission approve that portion of the pipeline’s route.