Is the Keystone XL pipeline dead? Bold Nebraska, a group that is fighting the pipeline, is celebrating the decision by Lancaster County District Court Judge Stephanie Stacy to invalidate as unconstitutional a 2012 state law that gave Gov. Dave Heineman the power of eminent domain.
That law, state law LB 1161, allowed Heineman to approve the Keystone XL route from Canada through Nebraska, rather than leave the decision to the Nebraska Public Service Commission.
TransCanada, which planned the pipeline, had been hearing protests by environmentalists that the company should change the Keystone XL route to avoid a sensitive aquifer. But Heineman said last year a different path that had been devised avoided the Sand Hills aquifer.
Bold Nebraska kept protesting, even though the State Department said in January that Keystone XL caused few major risks to the environment. Bold Nebraska Director Jane Kleeb said, “TransCanada learned a hard lesson today: never underestimate the power of family farmers and ranchers protecting their land and water.”