Despite Environmental Impact Concerns, Nebraska Court Clears Path For Keystone XL Pipeline
Discussion of the pipeline sparked mass protests and still has hurdles to overcome in other states.
August 23, 2019 at 6:43 pm
A decision filed Friday by the Nebraska Supreme Court has cleared the path for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in the state. The decision, which comes after years of protests surrounding the construction of the pipeline, has been challenged by environmental groups who say it fails to consider the environmental impacts the pipeline can have on surrounding areas.
The nearly 1,200-mile pipeline has been in commission since 2010 and faced backlash from environmental groups and Native American tribes in its route who worry about its long-term impact on their groundwater and property rights.
"It's disappointing that the court ignored key concerns about property rights and irreparable damage to natural resources, including threats to the endangered whooping crane, but today's ruling does nothing to change the fact that Keystone XL faces overwhelming public opposition and ongoing legal challenges and simply never will be built," Ken Winston, attorney for the Nebraska Sierra Club, said in a statement to The Hill. "The fight to stop this pipeline is far from over."
The pipeline was the center of mass protests, and last year, two Native American communities, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Fort Belknap Indian Community, sued the Trump administration for not adhering to historical treaty boundaries. That suit, which was filed in Montana and is still awaiting a ruling, came after President Trump issued a presidential permit for a new pipeline route that would effectively remove all barriers for its construction.
Several Democratic presidential candidates have pledged to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, as well as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro signing a pledge from Bold Nebraska that launched last week.
The pledge has been co-sponsored by several organizations, including Greenpeace USA, CREDO and the Progressive Democrats of America.