Feb 20 2014

Melting! Melting!

Green groups tell Obama Keystone won’t be forgiven

By Laura Barron-Lopez and Justin Sink, The Hill

February 19, 2014, 06:00 am

“There is not a blanket of regulations big enough to cover the pipeline elephant in the room,” said Jamie Henn of the green group 350.org. “There is nothing the administration could do to negate the impact the pipeline would have on the climate.”

If Obama approves Keystone, it will provoke a “vehement reaction” from environmental groups, said David Goldston, director of governmental affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“People have speculated that a push in climate policies could be some kind of trade-off but for the environmental community there is no such trade-off on Keystone XL,” Goldston said. “I don’t think that’s a strategy that would work in terms of the environmental movement either substantively or politically.”

Legal setback for Keystone pipeline


2/19/14 4:58 PM EST Updated: 2/20/14 12:03 PM EST

In response to a suit brought by three landowners, the Lancaster County District Court granted the request for declaratory judgment and declared the state law, LB 1161 “unconstitutional and void” for usurping the authority to approve the pipeline from its utility regulator, the Nebraska Public Service Commission, and instead vesting it with the governor.

The court also found that because Gov. Heineman’s authority to approve the pipeline route was based on an unconstitutional statute, his approval of a revised route “must be declared null and void.”

Domina said that for his clients, the decision means that TransCanada cannot build a pipeline over their land using eminent domain. But for TransCanada, the decision means that not only is its current route nullified, but that Nebraska law has no avenue for it to seek approval of the route.

“Citizens won today,” said Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska in a statement. “We beat a corrupt bill that Gov. Heinemann and the Nebraska Legislature passed in order to pave the way for foreign corporation to run roughshod over American landowners. … TransCanada learned a hard lesson today, never underestimate the power of family farmers and ranchers protecting their land and water.”

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