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Nebraska effort to oppose Keystone XL reignites

Posted at 10:10 PM, Apr 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-02 23:10:46-04

The push to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline from winding through Nebraska reignites.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission approved nearly every organization that applied to be interveners.

They'll be able to testify during hearings over the next several months.

"It says that they want to hear from every point of view which is fantastic,” said Linda Anderson, state director of Bold Nebraska. “They want to hear people who are against and not just a few people that are against."

The Keystone XL Pipeline would carry millions of barrels of oil from Canada to Texas.

Every state the pipeline would cut through has approved the project except for Nebraska.

"Nebraska has really become the epicenter and so a lot of people nationally are looking to Nebraska to be able to stop this pipeline," Anderson said.

TransCanada, the company that wants to complete the project, says Keystone XL will be good for Nebraska.

"We’ll be seeking offering employment to thousands of Nebraskans during the construction season, which will also provide increased tax benefits to each of the countries in which this project will be crossing," said Terry Cunha, TransCanada spokesman.

TransCanada applied to the Service Commission to build through Nebraska in February.

The Commission will make a decision based on the state's best interest.

Now that Bold Nebraska and other groups are official interveners they'll be allowed to testify, giving weight to the decision making process.

"Just having them hear us at hearings is huge," Anderson said.

Regardless of whether or not you're for or against the pipeline, Marienella Davis, Omaha, says this is the time to let politicians and community groups know how you feel.

"Don't just sit back if you disagree or if you don't, if you do agree with TransCanada's efforts you are more than welcome to express these opinions and now is the time to do so,” Davis said. “It's always worth participating in the democratic process and if you don't then you can't complain about the results."

TransCanada says they’ll respond to the Public Service Commission’s decision Monday.