For over seven years, the debate has raged over where to build or not build
the KXL pipeline. Domina Law’s involvement started over five years
ago when a Nebraska rancher asked if a foreign for-profit oil company
could take his land for their profits for a product destined to China
and unusable in the U.S. This seemed like a fair question.
We investigated and developed a legal strategy and implemented that strategy
for four years. Our legal work was specifically cited by the President
and State Department as the reason they were delaying review of this project
until our lawsuits were decided.
President Obama’s announcement today rejecting the KXL Pipeline ends,
for now, years of TransCanada’s attempts to seek an international
border crossing permit essential to the construction of its proposed controversial project.
Dave Domina, lawyer for Nebraska landowners, stated “although we are pleased
with the President’s decision, our lawsuits challenging the constitutionality
of a law that grants TransCanada eminent domain rights to take land of
Nebraskans will go forward until the unconstitutional laws are removed.
Our Nebraska lawsuits and the parallel routing application process initiated
by TransCanada currently in front of our states Public Service Commission
(PSC) were cited this week as the reason TransCanada requested a “pause”
in the State Departments review of its presidential permit application.
This “pause” request was denied.
Today’s announcement ends action on the federal level, until and
if, TransCanada re-applies for a presidential permit following the presidential
election. This rejection also moots the Public Service Commission process
in Nebraska since TransCanada has no project for which a route can be reviewed.
Brian Jorde stated “We are thrilled our Nebraska landowners seven-year saga
has ended and proud to have designed and implemented the legal strategies
identified by the President to initially delay decision on KXL and that
helped defeat this assault on constitutional rights of the hardworking
ranchers and farmers of this state.”
Dave Domina added, “Our clients are pleased the president was able
to give a strong clear explanation for why this pipeline was never a good
idea. It was never a job creator. It was never a good idea to turn a piece
of real estate the size of Nebraska into an open pit mine to extract this
dangerous crude oil. Nebraska is catching up with sister states on wind
and solar energy. Obviously, this is where the future lies. We will clean
up the legal problems in Nebraska with a bad statute, and finish up those
issues, but this announcement is a great relief.”