Pressure building ahead of Keystone XL review

Nebraska meeting on Keystone XL comes two days before pipeline planner's annual meeting.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   April 21, 2017 at 6:16 AM
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April 21 (UPI) -- Protests are coordinated around the Nebraska review of the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline, days before the developer's annual meeting, organizers said.

Bold Nebraska called on opponents of the project to hold grassroots events ahead of the May 3 public meeting for the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

"To gear up for the upcoming public hearings and meetings, we're launching a nationwide #NoKXL house party campaign," the advocacy group said in a statement.

Bold Nebraska said the Nebraska panel has scheduled other hearings in early August, "but the PSC has declined so far to tell us on which day(s) or what time this public comment period will take place during the week."

Bold Nebraska opposition to Keystone XL helped persuade pipeline company TransCanada to reroute the project to avoid a key aquifer in Nebraska early in the development process. TransCanada scheduled its annual meeting two days after the first public meetings with the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

Nebraska's review is one of the last regulatory steps for Keystone XL.

Former President Barack Obama sidelined the pipeline on environmental concerns last year, but the project was sanctioned under Obama-era studies by President Donald Trump, who described domestic energy infrastructure as a national interest.

Developments around the Keystone XL oil pipeline followed a decision from the Trump administration to investigate trade practices that could be harming the domestic steel industry. Under the order, the Commerce Department is called on to examine "whether steel imports cause American workers to lose jobs which are needed to meet security requirements of the domestic steel industry."

Trump in January pledged to use more U.S. steel, but a spokesperson for the administration said that order applies only to new pipelines. Keystone XL has been in the planning stages for about a decade.

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