TC Energy Corp. announced Aug. 23 the Nebraska Supreme Court has affirmed the November 2017 decision by the Nebraska Public Service Commission that approved the Keystone XL Pipeline route through the state.
Environmental groups had challenged the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) decision to approve the project. On Nov. 20, 2017, the PSC approved an order, by a vote of three-to-two, giving TransCanada the go ahead to build the Keystone XL pipeline using the proposed Mainline Alternative Route. The Mainline Alternative Route was one of three proposed routes (Preferred Route, Sandhills Alternative Route and Mainline Alternative Route) included in the application filed by TC Energy (then TransCanada) for the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska.
“The Supreme Court decision is another important step as we advance towards building this vital energy infrastructure project,” said Russ Girling, TC Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We thank the thousands of government leaders, landowners, labor unions and other community partners for their continued support through this extensive review process. It has been their unwavering support that has advanced this project to where it is today.”
The Keystone XL project is a proposed 1,179-mile, 36-in. diameter crude oil pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. At an estimated cost of $8 billion (USD), the pipeline will transport crude oil from Canada, as well as the Bakken shale region of Montana and North Dakota. The pipeline will have capacity to transport 830,000 barrels per day to Gulf Coast and Midwest refineries.
Despite the Nebraska Supreme Court ruling, the pipeline project still faces obstacles after a November 2018 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris to block construction activities in Montana. In March, President Donald Trump issued a new Presidential Permit for Keystone XL, superseding the one he issued in 2017. The Trump administration and TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) requested that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverse the lower court ruling.