Regulators Prepare Final Decision On Keystone XL Pipeline

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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An obscure panel of energy regulators could make a final decision Monday about the fate of the much-talked about Keystone XL Pipeline.

The proposed multi-billion-dollar oil project could inch closer to reality once the state’s Public Service Commission issues its ruling. A large oil leak from a separate section of the line will not bias the panel’s decision, according to recent reports.

Activists says they will continue to fight even if line is approved.

“Even if Nebraska’s PSC approves the permit, the fight’s not over yet,” Jason Disterhoft, senior climate campaigner at the Rainforest Action Network, told reporters Monday. He said the project will spring further leaks despite the conclusions Nebraska’s regulators might make.

TransCanada was forced to shut down the pipeline after detecting a leak 35 miles south of one of the line’s pumping station. Company officials believe Keystone leaked 5,000 barrels of oil, or about 21,000 gallons of crude oil, in South Dakota before workers took the project offline.

The panel’s decision not to factor the leak in its final ruling should raise red flags, activists with anti-fossil fuel group said in a statement Friday.

“That the Nebraska commissioners won’t consider safety in their decision on Keystone XL should alarm everyone,” officials with the group said. “If the [Public Service Commission] truly has Nebraska’s interests at heart, they’ll reject Keystone XL.”

Keystone’s expansion generated pushback when it was first proposed nearly a decade ago. Activists quieted down shortly after former President Barack Obama blocked the project.

Keystone XL pipeline grew white hot after President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this year approving the massive project, an expansion that would transport more than 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada, to Nebraska, where it would then connect with other lines feeding oil to downstream refineries.

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