The Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3-2 on Monday to construct the $8 billion pipeline that would link US oil refineries with oil sands in Canada's Alberta. The route of the 1,179-mile pipeline that will run through the state has been altered over environmental concerns.
"After careful evaluation and considerate of all the evidence adduced, and the careful weighing of all the issues, factors, and aspects of the proposed routes of the Keystone XL Pipeline, we find that the Alternative Mainline Route is in the public interest and shall be approved," Commission Chairman Tim Schram announced.
Confused about the difference between #Keystone1 & #KeystoneXL? Here's a helpful map and key facts:— 350 dot org (@350) 18 ноября 2017 г.
1. Keystone 1 was completed in 2010 and just leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in SD
2. Keystone XL is proposed, but missing a permit in Nebraska that will be decided on Monday #NoKXL pic.twitter.com/ktUaAwnEEp
The decision comes after the existing Keystone pipeline leaked at least 210,000 gallons of oil into agricultural fields in the US state of South Dakota before crews managed to shut it down. The panel was supposed to consider the incident while making a decision but was forbidden by law to do so.
TransCanada Corp's plans to build a pipeline has faced opposition from environmental groups, indigenous people, and some landowners. Yankton Sioux Tribe Business and Claims Committee member Jason Cooke stated in the document that the pipeline will cause irreparable damage to cultural resources of his tribe.
In March, the US State Department gave a green light to the construction of the pipeline immediately after President Donald Trump approved the pipeline deal. Trump had been a vocal supporter of the project and signed the order to accelerate its completion after taking office in January. Former President Barack Obama had previously blocked the project.