The long delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline has advanced an “important step” by winning approval from the Nebraska Supreme Court for its contested Canadian export route, said project sponsor TC Energy Corp.
In Alberta, source of the 830,000 b/d that would fill US$8 billion project, Canada Premier Jason Kenney called the verdict encouraging.
“This court victory is another step forward for this vital pipeline project after far too many years of regulatory delays and hurdles,” he said.
In the Nebraska case, the high court upheld a route variation approval by the state utility commission. The verdict rejected opposition claims that the state had no constitutional authority to take on a role in defining a path for the pipeline.
TC President Russ Girling described the Nebraska Supreme Court verdict as “another important step as we advance toward building this vital energy infrastructure project.” He also credited survival of the embattled Keystone proposal to “unwavering support” by government leaders, labor unions and landowners.
Neither TC nor Kenney predicted a date for construction to resume on the 11-year-old project, which is to extend from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The 1,200-mile project has had to contend with an onslaught of lawsuits by fossil fuel opponents and landowners.
In June TC won a procedural skirmish after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit approved a presidential permit for the cross-border project that was awarded by the Trump administration. In October, a federal court in Montana is scheduled to hear another environmentalist appeal against the presidential permit.