Ben Gotschall, energy director for BOLD Nebraska, says he’s not surprised by the sudden move in Congress on the controversial project but doesn’t think the legislation will be signed into law by President Obama.
Gotschall says, “The decision is still ultimately the president’s decision and if they try to rush his decision or force him into a decision, we’re hoping he will do what he did the last time they did it in 2012 and that he will deny it.”
He says if the Senate votes on the project now, they will be ignoring the rights of landowners who are in the path of the pipeline.
“It’s kind of a slap in the face to them because they spent a lot of time and money trying to make sure their interests are protected in this matter,” Gotschall says. “For Congress to just rush this approval, it’s not what I would call due process.”
The U.S. House approved the legislation last week authorizing construction of the pipeline.
TransCanada has applied for a presidential permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline from western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. It would connect with the southern portion of the pipeline, which is operating from Cushing, Oklahoma to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas.
The northern portion of Keystone XL is estimated to cost $5.4 billion. It would carry 830,000 barrels of oil sands crude from Canada to the refineries.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton