Keystone XL Pipeline Project Just Cleared Its Last Major Hurdle

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2015 file photo, the Keystone Steele City pumping station, into which the planned Keystone XL pipeline is to connect to, is seen in Steele City, Neb. Hacked emails show Hillary Clinton’s campaign wrestled with how to announce her opposition to construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline without losing the support of labor unions that supported to project. Emails published this week by WikiLeaks show debate and confusion within the Clinton camp as it faced down the unexpectedly strong primary challenge by liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders, who opposed the pipeline. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline is now approved to be built through the state of Nebraska, clearing one of the last major hurdles preventing the pipeline’s completion.

According to the Hill, the pipeline was okay’d to be built after a commission of Nebraska regulators voted 3-2. While the pipeline has been given the green light, it’s still subject to legal challenges.

The Hill reported that environmental and tribal activists are already gearing up to bring lawsuits against it.

The commission’s decision is a legal decision subject to appeal, something opponents of the pipeline have said they will do. Developers still need to secure approval from two federal agencies, and permitting decisions in South Dakota and federally are the subject of environmentalist and tribal lawsuits.

Legal challenges aside, with Keystone’s Nebraska problem out of the way, the pipeline faces no major challenges as both South Dakota and Montana have already approved the pipeline to cross their states. All the Trump administration has to do now is issue permits itself, though some of these may face legal challenges as well. The pipeline must get presidential approval as it passes the border into Canada.

The pipeline was fast-tracked by the Trump administration which had issued an executive order to get the project moving, something that then president Barack Obama had blocked in 2015.