On Monday, TransCanada released a statement saying that after reviewing the Nebraska court’s decision in Thompson v. Heineman, it believes the route for its Keystone XL pipeline “remains valid during appeal” of the landowners’ victory in their lawsuit over the routing process in Nebraska. Meanwhile, Pres. Obama reportedly told a meeting of state governors today that he expected to make a decision on the pipeline “one way or another in a couple of months.” See below for a statement from Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb, and a statement and response memo from landowners’ attorney David Domina.
- “Attorney General Bruning and TransCanada may not like the fact that they have no legal route in Nebraska and no power of eminent domain, but their latest move is a slap in the face to landowners, citizens and our state constitution. Bruning already had to return an illegal campaaign conribution from TransCanada. What else will Bruning do for a foreign corporation who wants to put in a risky export pipeline across the Sandhills, Aquifer and farmland? Despite Nebraska politicians being in the pocket of a foreign corporation, we are confident President Obama will reject this risky pipeline and protect our land, water and property rights.”
- “President Obama can not approve a pipeline permit without a Nebraska route,” said Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb. “TransCanada also does not have eminent domain powers anymore, which means they can not bully over 30% of the landowners who refuse to give up their land to a foreign corporation. Since we have no route in Nebraska, we take the President’s word of a decision coming within months as a very good sign. Pres. Obama denied the pipeline in 2012 in part because of the risks to Nebraska’s water. Pres. Obama has enough information to reject the pipeline and protect our land, water and property rights.”
Quote from landowners’ attorney David Domina (full legal memo embedded below):
“TransCanada’s comments released this morning demonstrate a deeply rooted misperception of the legal environment in Nebraska. Not only has it failed to understand the land, water, and people of the State, apparently this foreign company does not appreciate the law either. TransCanada says the District Court ruling declaring a State law invalid, and invalidating action by the Governor under that law, is not significant. TransCanada is wrong. TransCanada continues to display disregard – first for Nebraska’s important natural resources, second for its citizens and land owners, and now, for Nebraska’s court system.”
TransCanada’s statement, attributed to James Millar, Director, External Communcations, Media Relations & Brand:
“After reviewing the Nebraska district court judge’s decision on LB1161, a key legal clarification regarding the impact this ruling has on the statute that authorized the Nebraska re-route review needs to be made. A notice of appeal was filed by Nebraska’s Attorney General on the same day as the district court judge’s decision. This action ‘stays’ the lower court decision, meaning LB1161 is still valid and the Keystone XL re-route in Nebraska that was evaluated by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and approved by the Governor remains in effect.
The relevant Nebraska Statute (Neb.Rev.St. § 25-21,213) is attached and states:
….and the filing of notice signed by the Governor, chief officer of the proper department, Attorney General, or counsel for the state of intention to take such proceedings shall operate as a supersedeas of such judgment until the time that final judgment in the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court is rendered in the cause….
“Supersedeas” is the name given to a writ or order from a higher court commanding a lower court to suspend a particular proceeding. It is a writ that suspends the authority of a trial court to issue an execution on a judgment that has been appealed – stopping its enforcement. The term is often used interchangeably with a stay of proceeding.
As we said last week, this latest development concerning Keystone XL is a solvable problem and we are undeterred. We have dealt with many issues related to this project in the past and are confident we can overcome this latest hurdle. It is our view the current 90-day National Interest Determination process that is now underway should not be impacted by the Nebraska lower court ruling since the approved re-route remains valid during appeal.”
Statement of landowners’ attorney David Domina / Domina Law Group: