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Nebraska Judge Strikes Down Keystone Approval

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The Keystone XL pipeline has hit another roadblock, but this time it’s one the project stakeholders thought they had cleared. On Feb. 19, Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy declared the 2012 law used to reroute the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska was unconstitutional.

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Stacy ruled that the law improperly gave Gov. Dave Heineman authority to approve the pipeline route, according to reports by the Omaha World-Herald (Omaha.com). The judge said the Nebraska Public Service Commission has regulatory control over pipeline companies. She granted a permanent injunction to prevent Heineman and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality from taking further action to advance the pipeline.

The ruling would appear to mean TransCanada will have to seek approval again for its route through the state.

The U.S. State Department recently completed an environmental analysis of the project that said it did not represent a major threat to underground water or the climate. The project awaits public comments regarding the environmental study, due March 7, before President Barack Obama decides whether to approve it.

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