The bad news is that the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved the Keystone XL Pipeline through the state on a 3-2 vote. The good news is that it approved an alternative route to the one proposed by TransCanada, a route the company opposes.
Articles from news organizations and environment groups has been quick. An initial article from Politico says this could bring to an end a nearly decades long regulatory battle over the pipeline and Reuters is framing the vote as a win for Trump.
Environmental groups are saying they will continue the fight through the courts and through boycotts. Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, looked for a silver lining in today’s vote:
The Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline was just approved by Nebraska’s Public Service Commission, but there is some good news. The PSC has approved an alternative route that TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, has called unworkable.
That means TransCanada still has multiple hurdles to overcome — so this pipeline may never be built. That gives Sierra Club and our allies the perfect opportunity to fight back by urging banks to stop funding Keystone XL.
The Sierra Club is urging members to Send a message to Wells Fargo, a key funder of TransCanada, demanding that they stand with the landowners and tribes along the path of Keystone XL and not fund this dangerous pipeline.
Greenpeace is targeting Chase banks: Share today’s news on Facebook to put Chase Bank and other funders on notice that you are watching and you are not going anywhere. YOU will keep resisting this pipeline.
And court challenges remain. According to Politico:
The pipeline already is the focus of a court challenge stemming from Trump’s State Department approving the project. A coalition of groups is arguing the State Department did not do due diligence before approving the cross-border pipeline in March. The case is still in the beginning stages, with a decision pending from the U.S. District Court of Montana on a Trump administration motion to dismiss.
Native groups also have opposed Keystone XL. I will add their comments when I get them.