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Nebraska judge puts Keystone XL in further limbo

Barlow speaks against the Keystone XL pipeline near the White House, November 2011.The Canadian Press reports, “The hurdles standing before the Keystone XL pipeline project grew ever taller Wednesday as a Nebraska court dealt the long-delayed project another significant setback. A district judge ripped up a state law that might have been used to force landowners to allow the pipeline on their property. …Now, unless the law is reinstated by a higher court, Calgary-based pipeline builder TransCanada Corp. might be forced to seek permission from every last landowner on the route.”

“As a result, the project could find itself in limbo indefinitely, even if the Obama administration allows the pipeline to cross the U.S. border — a key step that is itself by no means certain. …Further lawsuits seem inevitable, regardless of what President Barack Obama decides.”

“There’s a 90-day period during which U.S. government departments can raise concerns about the pipeline, before the State Department makes a final recommendation to the president. However, administration officials have made it clear that there is no set deadline for State, or the president, to make the final call. There is some speculation in Washington that Obama might want to delay the politically sensitive decision until after November’s midterm elections.”

The Council of Canadians opposes the Keystone XL pipeline.

In August 2011, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow joined with allies to present a letter addressed to Ambassador Gary Doer at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C. demanding an end to their lobbying for the Keystone XL pipeline. In September 2011, Barlow was arrested in a major civil disobedience protest against Keystone XL on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. In November 2011, Barlow and 12,000 people gathered in Lafayette Square to #Surround the White House and demand that US President Barack Obama not issue the permit needed for the Keystone XL pipeline to proceed. Barlow also gave a major speech that day near the White House to those gathered for this protest. And in February 2013, the Council of Canadians joined more than 35,000 people in Washington in the #Forward on Climate march against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Photo: Barlow speaks against the Keystone XL pipeline near the White House, November 2011.