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Landowners File Suit Stating That Routing of Keystone XL Pipeline Needs to Start Over

Landowners fighting the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline submitted a 36-page brief on Monday, April 16 to the Nebraska Supreme Court asking that the Public Service Commission's (PSC) approval of the alternative route be nullified.

In addition to the Canadian company’s failure to seek approval of routes other than its “preferred” route, TransCanada failed to complete a necessary step to secure approval of an alternative route for its multi-billion dollar pipeline.

Attorneys representing the landowners, David Domina and Brian Jorde, previously stated that TransCanada made a legal error by only asking for approval of its preferred route, and that the alternatives were only offered as to show that there were multiple options under consideration. No public hearings were conducted to consider them, and the company never filed a request for approval.

The recently filed legal brief added a new layer of potential complication for the foreign oil company – under Nebraska law, the governor must first deny a route before a company can submit its application to the PSC for approval.

"The governor must say 'no' first; then comes the PSC," Domina and Jorde argued. "TransCanada missed the jurisdictional first step."

The Domina Law Group attorneys chose their words carefully in arguing that the routing process for the $8 billion pipeline should be started over – a new delay that could take at least another year to complete – by quoting Shakespeare.

“’[T]hings sweet to taste prove in digestion sour,’” they said. ““TransCanada cannot keep what it did not seek. The indigestion set in for TransCanada immediately after the (Public Service Commission) decision of November 20.”

TransCanada has 30 days to file its own legal brief in response. The Nebraska Supreme Court will start to hear oral arguments for and against the approval of this alternative route this fall, and will issue its ruling after that.

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