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Nebraska denies KXL route change request

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World Pipelines,

Yesterday, Nebraska regulators denied TransCanada Corp.’s request to amend its route application for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline through the US state, a potential setback for the company as it seeks to head off legal challenges.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an approval for the line in late November, removing what appeared to be the last big regulatory obstacle for the long-delayed project, which has been backed by US President Donald Trump.

But the commission’s approval was not for the route TransCanada had singled out in its application. Instead, the commission approved an alternative route that shifts it closer to an existing pipeline right-of-way down the eastern side of the state.

TransCanada filed a motion last month with the commission seeking permission to retrospectively amend the route application, a move that a company official said was intended to prevent lawsuits that could delay the project.

The commission on Tuesday voted 5-0 against the motion.

TransCanada said in a statement that it would review the decision to determine next steps for Keystone XL, but added that it believed the project remained economically viable.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission said yesterday that TransCanada couldn’t amend its application to formally request an alternative route for the pipeline through the state.

At issue is a procedural quirk concerning the route that the oil pipeline would take on its 1700 mile journal from the oilsands region of Alberta in western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska.

TransCanada could appeal the commission’s ruling, but that may take several months. If the company were to lose that appeal, TransCanada would have to begin anew its application for the alternative route approved by the commission last month.

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