The Trump administration has issued a presidential permit to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
"It's going to be an incredible pipeline the greatest technology known to man," said President Trump.
The pipeline will carry tar sands oil from Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. The State Department says it considered foreign policy and energy security before determining that building the pipeline serves the national interest.
Tom Shannon, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, signed the permit because Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recused himself due to his previous job as Exxon Mobil CEO.
The pipeline's route through Nebraska will be challenged in the courts. Bold Alliance attorney Kevin Winston issued the following statement: "There is no approved route for the Keystone XL pipeline across the state of Nebraska. TransCanada still has the burden of proving to the Nebraska Public Service Commission that their proposed route is in the public interest."
"We believe that TransCanada will be unable to meet its burden. The statutory criteria of protecting property rights and natural resources, particularly water, are intended to ensure the welfare of Nebraskans, not line the pockets of foreign for-profit oil companies."
On Wednesday a group of Nebraska filed to be an intervenor in the Keystone XL pipeline process, "We can stop this pipeline, we must stop this pipeline, and we will stop this pipeline," said James Cavanaugh who is against the pipeline.
The Ponca tribe spoke after the announcement as well saying if the pipeline were built it would hurt their lands, "Within those boundaries are burial sites, sacred sites and the fact that what it has the potential environmental impact that it has on the state of Nebraska and our groundwater," said Ponca tribe chairman Larry Wright.
Governor Pete Ricketts issued the following statement: "The Presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline is a welcome step forward to securing improved energy infrastructure in Nebraska and nationally, while also creating jobs and ensuring our energy independence. The project will also benefit Nebraska by bringing an estimated additional $11.8 million in property tax revenue in the first year to 12 Nebraska counties.
"I have full confidence that the Public Service Commission will conduct a thorough and fair review of the application and appreciate their work to ensure the project serves the public interest."