OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — TransCanada Corp. will temporarily suspend efforts to seize Nebraska land for its much-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline after landowners sued, in what is one obstacle the Canadian company still faces in the 1,179-mile project.
A Holt County District judge issued a temporary injunction Thursday, keeping TransCanada from invoking eminent domain along the proposed Keystone XL route in northern Nebraska while a lawsuit by landowners in that county plays out. TransCanada agreed to the order, hoping to get an accelerated trial schedule so that it can quickly resolve the legal disputes.
The White House did not offer any public response Wednesday to final passage of the Keystone XL pipeline approval bill, but an aide said President Barack Obama isn't rethinking his opposition to the measure.
"As we have made clear, the president will veto this bill," said an aide on condition of anonymity.
The bill passed the House late Wednesday, 270-152, clearing it to be sent in the coming days to Obama's desk. His advisers have said he will veto it because it intrudes on the presidential cross-border permit process, which continues at the State Department.
TransCanada officials and Canada's top diplomat to the U.S. on Wednesday each challenged new greenhouse gas concerns surrounding the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, which were raised last week by the Environmental Protection Agency in comments to the State Department.
TransCanada's president Russ Girling filed a letter with the department questioning EPA's assertion that low oil prices should prompt a fresh estimate of the line's impact on oil sands carbon emissions -- which could further delay a final decision on the project.
Separately, the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper made public its objections to EPA's stance via a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry from Canada's U.S. ambassador Gary Doer.
"One is left with the conclusion that there has been significant distortion and omission to arrive at EPA's conclusions," Doer wrote in the letter, dated Monday.
The showdown over the Keystone XL oil pipeline between Republicans in Congress and President Barack Obama sees its next act unfold this week.
The GOP-led House plans on Wednesday to pass and send to his desk a bill approved by the Senate to authorize the $8 billion line from Canada, according to a schedule issued late Friday by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
As the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline continues to drag on, project owner TransCanada will likely start moving oil by rail, CEO Russ Girling said in Toronto Wednesday, the Financial Post reports.
Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday ramped up their calls for President Barack Obama to reject the $8 billion project, based on new Environmental Protection Agency criticism of the State Department's review of the line's contributions to climate change.
EPA said in comments published Tuesday on the department's final supplemental environmental impact statement that the crash in oil prices should prompt officials to revisit its conclusion that the project won't directly spur carbon-intensive Canadian oil sands crude.
After years of vocal support for the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline and three weeks of debate on the Senate floor, Republicans on Thursday passed an approval bill with the help of moderate Democrats, setting the stage for a veto fight with President Barack Obama.
Senators voted 62-36 to approve the bill by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., a majority that included nine moderate Democrats who voted to approve the $8 billion Canadian project in November.
The Senate on Thursday voted 62-36 to approve the Keystone XL pipeline bill, ending three weeks of debate and setting up the first veto fight between the new Republican majority and President Barack Obama.
A group of nine Democrats joined Republicans to pass the measure, which must still be reconciled with a House version passed earlier this month.
The White House earlier in the day stood by its veto threat against the bill.
With the Keystone XL pipeline still delayed, Transcanada has filed with the State Department to get approval for the Upland Pipeline, which would bring Bakken crude north to Saskatchewan, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit leaves in place Environmental Protection Agency regulations on heavy truck efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions, The Hill reports.
Word that Russia, Norway and possibly Saudi Arabia are ramping up oil production pressured prices Friday. U.S. benchmark crude dropped 1 percent, or 59 cents, to $57.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while in London Brent gained 43 cents to $65.28 a barrel, a new five-month high, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin Power & Light has formally asked state regulators to approve a new gas-fired plant that will cost $750 million, alongside a solar facility intended to generate 2 megawatts, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Two Democrats – Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania – have introduced comprehensive mine safety legislation intended to beef up regulatory enforcement and close loopholes in the 1952 Federal Coal Mine Safety Act, WVPN reports.