For Immediate Release: November 20, 2017
Statement by Environmental Defence’s Patrick DeRochie: Nebraska’s Keystone XL decision will lead to further uncertainty and delay
Toronto, Ont. – TransCanada and tar sands producers better hold off on popping the Keystone XL champagne – likely for a few more years. TransCanada’s proposed pipeline route through Nebraska as we’ve known it for the last nine years was unanimously rejected by the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC).
The PSC, in a 5-0 decision, rejected TransCanada’s preferred route for Keystone XL through Nebraska, throwing the pipeline proposal into uncertainty, regulatory delay, and likely legal challenges that could take years to work out.
Despite the PSC’s 3-2 approval of an alternate Keystone XL route, this is not the route TransCanada proposed and is not the route that has undergone a proper assessment at the U.S. state and federal levels. It’s not even clear that the PSC has the authority to green-light the alternate route.
TransCanada still lacks firm commitments from tar sands producers interested in using the pipeline and still needs U.S. federal approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Land Management. And a determined coalition of Native Americans, farmers, environmentalists and communities along the route remain overwhelmingly opposed to the pipeline.
The likely delay in the Keystone XL review and routing process gives Canada’s federal government an opportunity to rethink its original approval of the pipeline. The government must show how building Keystone XL fits with Canada’s climate commitments and the Alberta oil sands emissions cap, and whether Canadians can trust TransCanada to prevent pipeline leaks, especially after last week’s 800,000-litre spill in South Dakota.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 x.247; 416-356-2587 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org