FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 19, 2017
Mark Hefflinger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Landowners, Pipeline Fighters Vow to Continue Fight After Nebraska Public Service Commission Denies Motions to Reconsider Ruling on Keystone XL Permit Application
Lincoln — Landowners and Pipeline Fighters vowed to continue their fight on Tuesday after the Nebraska Public Service Commission denied a series of motions to reconsider its approval of the “Mainline Alternative” route for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline through the state of Nebraska. The PSC denied TransCanada’s motion to allow it to simply file an “amended” application, as well as motions from landowners urging the PSC to compel TransCanada to file an entirely new permit application.
The PSC’s decision today now opens a window where TransCanada, landowners, Tribes and intervenor parties may file an appeal of the PSC’s approval of the “Mainline Alternative” pipeline route.
In response to today’s decision from the Nebraska Public Service Commission, Bold Nebraska founder Jane Kleeb said:
“TransCanada knows they’re on shaky ground with this route that was approved by the Public Service Commission, and that the U.S. State Department never reviewed this route — which puts their federal permit up in question. So now the route that TransCanada did not want — which still crosses the Ogallala aquifer and fragile Sandhills — is the route that they’re technically stuck with. Bold and Nebraska Easement Action Team will continue to organize landowner resistance inside the new route.”
The commissioners’ decision came after oral arguments held on December 12, where Nebraskans urged commissioners to require a new application, noting they never applied for the “Mainline Alternative” route the PSC ultimately approved.
The Nebraska Easement Action Team (N.E.A.T.) will continue to host community meetings for newly affected landowners inside the Keystone XL route. NEAT hosted landowner meetings in Seward on Dec. 13, Norfolk on Dec. 14 and O’Neill on Dec. 18, and will host another landowners meeting this evening in David City. (Details: http://nebraskaeasement.org)
Already, many new KXL landowners are voicing their concerns about eminent domain and easement terms, and seeking legal advice to make sure their rights are protected.
Resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline was reignited earlier this year when the Trump administration approved a national permit for the project, reversing former President Obama’s rejection of the pipeline.
In Nebraska and South Dakota, Indigenous leaders, farmers, and ranchers installed solar arrays inside the pipeline route, putting clean energy in Keystone XL’s path. In August, this same coalition led hundreds on a march through the streets of Lincoln, Nebraska, and delivered thousands of comments to the Public Service Commission ahead of hearings on Keystone XL, urging commissioners to reject the pipeline.
Legal challenges to the project remain, including a lawsuit brought against Trump’s ‘presidential permit’ for the pipeline, which a federal judge ruled could proceed just days after the alternate route approval by the Nebraska PSC.
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