Pipeline opponent Jane Kleeb, of BOLD Nebraska, says the threat likely means TransCanada officials think they won’t prevail and they’ll try anything to succeed.
“They’re essentially telling the president, ‘You approve our pipeline or we’ll sue the U.S. government for billions,'” Kleeb says. “The good thing is, for us, for citizens and for taxpayers is, these threats rarely go on the company side. They may actually file a complaint with NAFTA, but it is very, very rare that a company actually wins.”
TransCanada’s CEO Russ Girling says the company has already invested $2.4-billion dollars in the project and construction has yet to begin. Kleeb says Girling may just be waiting for a new U.S. president so the company will get the approval they’re seeking.
“The other thing with TransCanada saying they’ll just wait for a Republican administration or, quite frankly, for Secretary Clinton. They think Clinton would approve the pipeline as well,” Kleeb says. “We’re continuing to push on candidates and citizens to make sure they go to town hall meetings and ask hard questions.”
Kleeb says it’s important to note that besides the federal approval, TransCanada also needs various state and local permits to be able to proceed with Keystone XL.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton