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.