Nebraska to decide on Keystone XL pipeline next week

Nebraska to decide on Keystone XL pipeline next week
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Regulators in Nebraska will announce their decision on the Keystone XL pipeline project next week.

The five members of the Nebraska Public Service Commission will vote on a proposed order for the Keystone XL pipeline on Nov. 20, the agency announced on Monday, though it didn’t detail what that decision might be.

Approval from the Nebraska commission is one of several tasks facing Keystone XL developer TransCanada, which hopes to build the pipeline and deliver oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico.

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President Trump granted a presidential permit for the controversial $8 billion pipeline in March. But state regulators still need to approve it, and green groups have sued over Trump’s decision, raising a legal barrier against the pipeline as well.

Keystone’s developers also have to decide if the pipeline is economically viable: TransCanada officials told investors this summer that it might not build the project, though the company said earlier this month that it likely has enough demand from potential customers to make the project worthwhile.

TransCanada reapplied for its Nebraska permit in February, putting the decision in the hands of the Public Service Commission. It applied to follow the same route bisecting Nebraska that the state’s governor approved in 2013, before President Obama rejected federal permits for the pipeline.

President Trump routinely cites his approval of Keystone XL — and the Dakota Access pipeline — as one of the biggest accomplishments of his first year in office.