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Long Legal Battle Looming for TransCanada in Keystone XL Pipeline Case

In an announcement last week, TransCanada is attempting to dismiss around 100 cases planning to force easements using eminent domain proceedings. The company made it known that they plan on looking for a quicker way to lay the Keystone XL pipeline by seeking re-approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission regarding its original route. This a surprising twist in the case filed by about 60 property owners who want to put a stop to the use of eminent domain.

TransCanada’s preferred route planned to go 275 miles and the Public Service Commission is determining whether or not the board can approve a project that was already given approval by the governor. Now, the company has submitted an application proposing two new, alternative paths. The first would be the original route that caused public disapproval because it would go through some of the Nebraska Sandhills’ most sensitive areas. The second route — a 280-mile path — closely follows the existing Keystone Pipeline.

While the plan of TransCanada is to seek a way to progress the pipeline faster, Nebraskans are still planning on taking their case to court and the Public Service Commission in an attempt to stop the project.

Attorney Brian Jorde of Domina Law Group is representing the property owners with the goal of convincing the Nebraska Supreme Court to strike down a law from 2012 that is believed to show unconstitutional favoritism to oil pipeline companies. The law allows these companies to gain project approval from the governor while being able to bypass the Public Service Commission.

Attorney Jorde stated that, “the law is there for any oil pipeline company to take advantage of, it’s not TransCanada specific.” He continued, “TransCanada could come back and use this same law again. As long as it’s still there, it remains an unconstitutional option for them. We have to get that straightened out once and for all.”

Domina Law Group intends to continue the lawsuit with approval from the judge despite the announcement from TransCanada.

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