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TransCanada Corporation said on Thursday that it had filed an application with the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking approval for its Keystone XL pipeline to pass through the state, in a largely expected move since President Trump gave the green light to the project at the federal level last month.
“The PSC process is the clearest path to achieving route certainty for the project in Nebraska and is expected to conclude in 2017,” TransCanada said in its statement.
After President Trump signed executive orders that put Keystone XL and Dakota Access back on the table, TransCanada was quick to submit a new application for a permit that would clear the way for the construction of its Keystone XL pipeline. The State Department has 60 days after final application to grant or deny the permit, as per Trump’s instructions.
The Keystone XL pipeline was planned to transport a daily average of 800,000 barrels of heavy Canadian crude from Alberta to U.S refineries, but the project elicited outrage from environmentalists that led to a veto by former president Barack Obama in November 2015. At the time, Obama said the project raised too much environmental concern while its economic benefits were uncertain.
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On Thursday, TransCanada reminded that its proposed route was evaluated by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and approved by the Governor of Nebraska back in 2013. According to the company, “the preferred route avoids the area that is defined as the Nebraska Sandhills and is expected to have minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska.”
But environmentalists continue to voice their opposition to the project, and following TransCanada’s renewed application in Nebraska, the Bold Alliance activist network opposing the pipeline issued a statement in which the organization’s president Jane Kleeb said:
“Keystone XL is and always will be all risk and no reward.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.