Keystone developer reapplies for Nebraska permit

Keystone developer reapplies for Nebraska permit
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The developer hoping to build the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline submitted a renewed application Thursday to build the line through Nebraska.

Nebraska state law allows TransCanada Corp. to use eminent domain in certain areas if the state approves the route and more than 90 percent of the landowners in the path previously granted permission for construction.

TransCanada said the application to the Nebraska Public Service Commission follows the same route that the state’s governor approved in 2013, before former President Obama rejected the federal permit for the pipeline.

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“This application has been shaped by direct, on-the-ground input from Nebraskans,” TransCanada President Russ Girling said in a statement.

“The thousands of Nebraskans we have met over the last eight years understand the value of this project and what it means to the state. As we have said consistently, safety and a respect for the environment remain our key priorities.”

The pipeline is planned to go from Alberta, Canada, to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast in Texas.

President Trump last month instructed the State Department to take a maximum of 60 days to consider whether to grant a cross-border permit for the project, and the company submitted its federal application days later.

Nebraska was in many ways central to previous opposition to Keystone, and the fight could focus there again.

“Keystone XL is a foreign-owned pipeline, using foreign steel headed to the foreign export market,” Jane Kleeb, president of the anti-pipeline Bold Alliance, said in a statement.

“Bold continues to stand with farmers and ranchers to protect property rights from being infringed upon by a pipeline for their private gain. Keystone XL is and always will be all risk and no reward.”

The Nebraska state approval process can take up to a year and includes public hearings, public input and other steps.