LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline questioned its proposed pathway through Nebraska on Tuesday in hopes that state regulators will reject or reroute it, a decision that would create more delays for the 9-year-old project. But pipeline builder TransCanada defended its proposal to the Nebraska Public Service Commission, arguing that the company’s “preferred route” makes the most sense and causes the least amount of disruption.
The proposed pipeline faced another day of scrutiny in a hearing before the Nebraska Public Service Commission, whose five members must decide whether the Keystone XL serves the public interest. Approving the project would allow TransCanada to gain access to holdout landowners’ property using Nebraska’s eminent domain laws. The 1,179-mile crude oil pipeline has faced relentless criticism from environmental groups, Native American tribes and a well-organized minority of Nebraska landowners who don’t want the project cutting through their property. Business groups and some unions support the Keystone XL, saying it will provide jobs and property tax revenue for local governments.