A few weeks after President Trump gave the go-ahead for renewed efforts to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, developer TransCanada said it is seeking approval for a route through Nebraska.
The pipeline would stretch from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and into Nebraska where it would connect to existing pipelines to carry oil south to Cushing, Oklahoma. TransCanda has filed an application with the Nebraska commission that regulates oil pipelines.
“This application has been shaped by direct, on-the-ground input from Nebraskans,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s CEO. “The thousands of Nebraskans we have met over the last eight years understanding the value of this project and what it means to the state.”
Girling said the route would avoid an area the state defines as the Nebraska Sandhills, a region of grass-covered dunes with high water tables.
But TransCanda will face opposition from environmentalists. One group called Bold Nebraska says it plans a letter-writing campaign aimed at the Nebraska Public Service commission which will review the project. The five-member board includes four Republicans and one Democrat.
Opponents managed to slow the application approval the last time until President Obama stopped the project. The used lawsuits and activism against the Keystone.
“We have to be proactive as possible,” said Bond Nebraska’s State Director Linda Anderson. “But I think we can do it again.”
“It’s a very frightening prospect that a foreign corporation can use eminent domain against landowners for their private gain,” said Kleeb, the director of an umbrella group that includes Bold Nebraska.
Kleeb said 82 landowners in Nebraska still haven’t agreed to let the pipeline run through their property. TransCanada has said it has secured agreements with roughly 90 percent of the state’s property owners.