BREAKING: Judge throws out Nebraska pipeline law

By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

LINCOLN, Neb. – Pipeline opponents in Nebraska have thrown yet another obstacle in the path of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline that would cross the heartland of America.

STYMIED: A Nebraska lawsuit has thrown yet another obstacle in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

A Nebraska judge has declared unconstitutional a 2012 law that gave the governor and state environmental regulators the authority to approve or deny oil pipeline routes.

Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled in favor of three Nebraska landowners who filed the lawsuit against the state, issuing an order Wednesday declaring the law unconstitutional and void for divesting the state Public Service Commission of control over the routing of pipelines.

The ruling includes a permanent injunction preventing Gov. Dave Heineman and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality from taking any further action to authorize or advance the pipeline under the law.

FIGHTING: Cattle buyer Randy Thompson of Nebraska is one of three landowners who challenged the constitutionality of a law governing the siting of the Keystone XL oil pipeline through Nebraska.

Pipeline fighters in Nebraska have long claimed TransCanada, the Canadian company trying to get the Keystone XL pipeline approved, basically wrote the bill. The lawsuit also contended lawmakers didn’t have the authority to grant a foreign company condemnation powers.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Contact Deena Winter at deena@nebraskawatchdog.org. Follow Deena on Twitter at @DeenaNEWatchdog

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