The future of the Dakota pipeline is in Nebraska’s hands
Nebraska regulators will hear final arguments in the case of the pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp, better known as the Keystone XL, to make a decision later this year.
The complicated case of the Dakota oil pipeline, the Keystone XL, reaches its defining moments. Five months after the US government approved the bill, the decision is in the hands of the public hearings in Lincoln, Nebraska, to assess the pros and cons of such a conflicting project.
Although TransCanada has received authorization from both the US and Canadian governments, it also requires the licenses issued by the three states that the pipeline will cross. Both Montana and South Dakota have approved the route, and the decision is now in the hands of the last state: Nebraska.
The struggle for a crude oil transport plan has had its ups and downs. Since the project was launched in 2008, environmental activists and Native American representatives have opposed the encroachment of ancestral territories and compromised natural reserves, but their efforts have been in vain.
According to CBC News (Canada), if Nebraska approves the pipeline, TransCanada will have all the permits to proceed with the construction of a 1,900-kilometer pipeline that will transport 830,000 barrels of crude per day from Alberta to the American refineries near Houston, Texas. To do so, the company has secured "agreements with the vast majority of landowners on the Nebraska route, with more than 90% of the firms and acquisition agreements."
Opponents and supporters will have the opportunity to participate in public hearings this week, and raise their arguments, particularly those who believe that oil leaks could put at risk a territory that depends on agriculture.
For their part, project advocates have said it will produce "hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in profits," Reuters reported.
This has been President Trump's argument in reversing President Barack Obama's decision to suspend the project for environmental reasons. According to the new president, this project "will create 28,000 jobs nationwide," even though a State Department study published in 2014 only projected about 3,900 jobs under construction and only 35 permanent jobs.
What is undeniable is that the new pipeline would connect Alberta with the Gulf of Mexico, which means the entry of Canadian reserves into the international market.
The hearings will be held on Friday at the Nebraska Public Services Commission and the future of the project will then be decided.