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Madison County reacts to approved Keystone XL pipeline route

Posted: 1:44 PM, Nov 22, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-22 19:44:22Z

TransCanada has an approved path through Nebraska if they choose to go forward with the Keystone XL project in the state.

As the Public Service Commission approved the mainline alternative route by a 3-2 vote on Monday.

But for many in Madison County, the news of this route barely talked about came as a shock.

“We were surprised that they did select the alternate route,” said Madison County Commissioner Ron Schmidt.

Schmidt said TransCanada visited the county about a year and a half ago to learn about the basic facts about the pipeline but haven’t heard from the company since.

But Schmidt believes this pipeline, if built, will bring major economic benefits to the county, “Long term would be property tax-the pipeline has a value to it. Would be a large valuation for the county”.

However some landowners in the county who could be in the pipeline’s path don’t want the company to take over their land.

“I've worked hard for everything that I got and I don't want something to come in and wreck it for me,” said Madison County landowner Steve Hintz.

He says the Keystone leak in South Dakota reinforces his worries about oil pipelines, “Isn't a matter of if's it's going to leak. It's a matter of when and I wouldn't want my land to be contaminated, with the water underneath.”

TransCanada said it is reviewing this route and will determine by next month whether or not to continue to build this project in the state.