FILE – In this file photo from April 18, 2013, opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline hold up head bands during the U.S. State Department’s sole public hearing in Grand Island, Neb. On Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy issued a ruling that invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman’s approval of the route. Judge Stacy agreed with opponents’ arguments that a law passed in 2011 improperly delegated the decision-making power to Heineman to give the TransCanada pipeline company eminent domain powers within the state. Stacy said the decision should have been made by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which regulates pipelines and other utilities. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska judge on Wednesday struck down a law that allowed the Keystone XL pipeline to proceed through the state, a victory for opponents who have tried to block the project that would carry oil from Canada to Texas refineries.
Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy issued a ruling that invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman’s approval of the route. Stacy agreed with opponents’ arguments that the law passed in 2012 improperly allowed Heineman to give Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. the power to force landowners to sell their property for the project. Stacy said the decision to give TransCanada eminent domain powers should have been made by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which regulates pipelines and other utilities.
A spokeswoman for Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said the state will appeal the ruling. Heineman said he supports the decision to appeal.
“This is an important issue for the State of Nebraska,” he said.
Stacy’s decision could cause more delays in finishing the pipeline, which is critical in Canada’s efforts to Login to read more