We want to assure Nebraskans we are here in your state to address any concerns and answer any questions you may have regarding the project. Our Keystone Projects President, Corey Goulet, recently met with media, landowners and state officials to discuss the project and the latest Nebraska Supreme Court decision. See the next page for an update on this decision.
On January 9, 2015 the Nebraska Supreme Court overturned a lower-court ruling, thereby upholding the Nebraska law that had allowed Governor Heineman to initially approve the route. The result of this decision is that TransCanada continues to have a valid and approved route throughout the State.
Some background information…
In February 2014, a Nebraska court ruled that only the State Public Service Commission had the authority to approve Keystone XL’s pipeline route through Nebraska, indicating Governor Heineman’s approval was invalid. This was then escalated to the Supreme Court which has now ruled the law authorizing Nebraska’s Governor to approve siting of oil pipeline routes in the State is valid.
This positive result removes an obstacle for President Obama and TransCanada remains optimistic Keystone XL will receive a Presidential Permit sometime this year.
The Facts About Eminent Domain...
Recently there has been a lot of attention surrounding the concept of eminent domain. Many of you may be wondering what is it, how it works and why it is sometimes necessary in acquiring pipeline easements. Here’s some background...
What is it?
The process of eminent domain is a state-approved process where compensation for a pipeline easement is determined by local courts and in conjunction with local appraisers. When acquiring an easement to build a pipeline, our first option is always to negotiate voluntarily with the landowner as we can begin immediately to accommodate unique features and minimize disturbance on each property owner’s land for the small bundle of rights to construct, operate and maintain our pipelines. This process is only undertaken as an absolute last resort.
How does it work?
In the event that a voluntary agreement with the landowner cannot be reached, a panel of local appraisers appointed by the county court will recommend a fair value for compensation paid to the landowner for the easement and any damages related to the construction of the pipeline. As with voluntary easements, landowners continue to own and farm the land and they can continue to use the land with few, if any, restrictions.
Why is it needed?
The process of eminent domain is a last resort and our first priority is always to negotiate voluntary agreements with landowners. However, where needed, eminent domain allows necessary commodities like food, oil, natural gas and power to have the safe transportation corridors needed to get to where they are used: in homes, factories and the 250 million vehicles that need to start up each day in America. The process ensures that needed infrastructure such as pipelines can be built all while protecting private property rights of the landowners affected by that infrastructure.