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President Obama Expected to Reject Keystone XL

White House Expected to Reject KXL | Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

Earlier this week, TransCanada petitioned President Obama to put its review of the company’s oil pipeline project on hold. The Canadian oil giant made its plea citing its continued efforts to seek approval for the portion of the route that passes through Nebraska. Now, sources are saying that Obama will reject TransCanada’s offer to pause the review, and instead reject Keystone XL altogether.

The Keystone XL pipeline project has been tied up in legal battles for years. TransCanada initially filed its application for a route permit more than seven years ago. Many of the landowners whose property stood in the pipeline’s path signed easements. The holdouts were threatened with eminent domain proceedings.

Just recently, TransCanada halted all condemnation efforts against the Nebraska holdouts, switching strategies to get route approval from Nebraska’s Public Service Commission, the commission that could grant the company the power of eminent domain.

TransCanada claimed that its turn to the Public Service Commission should warrant the dismissal of two lawsuits filed in Holt and York Counties on behalf of Nebraska landowners. The lawsuits concern a 2012 law (LB 1161) that granted then-governor Dave Heineman the power of route approval, bypassing the Public Service Commission. Since TransCanada decided to seek approval via the commission, they said the lawsuits were moot. Domina Law Group disagreed, which you can read more about here.

Dave Domina, the attorney representing Nebraska landowners in a lawsuit against TransCanada, commented to the Lincoln Journal Star that Nebraskans “will not lie down to be run over.”

About a year ago, TransCanada was claiming to President Obama that the route through Nebraska was essentially set in stone.

“TransCanada admits what any careful reader of last January’s Nebraska Supreme Court action knew…. The route was not approved and the law TransCanada rammed through the Legislature was unconstitutional,” said Domina.

Today, the certainty of the pipeline route is still uncertain due to the pending lawsuits in Nebraska.

This week, TransCanada formally petitioned the White House to stop presidential review of KXL’s route, a petition it denied, prompting many to draw the conclusion that the Obama administration will reject the project.

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