TransCanada, developer of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, filed a number of eminent domain claims this week in an attempt to secure the last remaining miles for the proposed project’s path across Nebraska. Keystone’s path across Montana and South Dakota is set, but the Nebraskan portion was challenged in court, and ultimately approved by the state’s Supreme Court last week. Now, TransCanada is invoking eminent domain to clear the last remaining holdouts along the pipeline’s path. The Guardian reports:
By law, TransCanada can use the courts to force Nebraska landowners to sell access to their land. Company officials say they still need to acquire 12% of the total land easements from owners who have not yet reached a deal. Some holdouts have said they will not negotiate no matter how much TransCanada offers.
It’s unclear how this will all shake out, but it does look like the President will be given yet another reason to delay his decision on the pipeline, as lawsuits and a Nebraskan state legislature challenge seem ready to slow down the already glacial pace of Keystone’s approval process:
In the two lawsuits filed last week – which could delay the entire 1,179-mile Canada-to-Nebraska project – seven landowners in Holt and York counties said they had received written warning that TransCanada intends to initiate eminent domain proceedings. […]Nebraska lawmakers may debate the issue again this session. State senator Ernie Chambers introduced a bill on Tuesday that would repeal the pipeline-siting law and bring the project “to a virtual standstill”.
This is why we can’t have nice things, America.