Alternative Keystone XL route OKed in Nebraska

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -

A Nebraska commission has approved an alternative Keystone XL route through the state, removing the last regulatory hurdle to the $8 billion oil pipeline project.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission voted on the long-delayed project Monday, though the decision could still be challenged in court. The commission was forbidden by law from considering a recent oil spill on the existing Keystone pipeline in its decision.

Keystone pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota

The alternative route would run farther north than the originally proposed route.

TransCanada Corp.'s plan to build a nearly 1,200-mile (1,931-kilometer) pipeline faces intense opposition from environmental groups, Native American tribes and some landowners.

Business groups and some unions support the project as a way to create jobs. President Donald Trump issued a federal permit allowing for the project in March, reversing President Barack Obama administration's rejection of it.


Previous story:

A Nebraska regulator is set to decide whether to approve the proposed route of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline through the state.

The decision Monday could have a big impact on whether TransCanada Corp. decides to proceed with construction of the project, which was first proposed in 2008 but repeatedly delayed.

The five-member Nebraska Public Service Commission vote is the last major regulatory hurdle for Keystone XL, which was approved earlier this year by President Donald Trump in a reversal of the Obama administration's rejection in 2015.

Landowners along the route and environmentalists have opposed the project. Some businesses and unions have supported it as a job creator.

The commission will not be allowed to take into account an oil spill on the existing Keystone pipeline last week.
 

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