Recent testimony revealed that TransCanada had a bigger role in drafting the LB 1161 than was once believed.
A new development has emerged in the Keystone XL debacle. Recent testimony from Senator Jim Smith (R- Neb) revealed that he spoke extensively with a TransCanada representative before drafting LB 1161, the bill that allowed Governor Dave Heineman to approve the pipeline's route, and the law that Domina Law Group contends is unconstitutional.
Bold Nebraska Director Jane Kleeb doesn't think Smith wrote the bill at all, but the bill was actually authored by the TransCanada rep under Smith's name. "It was obvious that he did not write that bill," said Kleeb.
Smith, on the other hand, claims that working closely with "experts" before drafting legislation is normal, expected even.
Controversy over the constitutionality of Smith's bill, LB 1161, is what caused the Obama administration to hold off on approving the pipeline – Keystone XL needs presidential approval because it crosses a national border.
Questions over the bill's authorship started to crop up after Smith was unable to explain certain parts of LB 1161 when asked, instead deferring to TransCanada representatives for the answer.
For more on this story, read TransCanada rep helped Nebraska senator shape new law favoring pipelinein The Toronto Star.