A legal fight attempting to overturn the 2012 state law used to settle on the Keystone XL oil pipeline route through Nebraska continues.
Attorney representing landowners fighting TransCanada have submitted legal briefs in Holt County.
Attorney Dave Domina says the documents argue the legislature failed to follow the constitution.
“The Public Service Commission, which is created by the state constitution, has exclusive control of common carriers, but this statute tried to give that control to the governor,” Domina tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate WNAX. “We think that’s unconstitutional.”
Domina claims the financing is flawed as well. He says the process of applying for a crude oil pipeline permit is financed by a revolving credit loan from the state, which he also claims is unconstitutional.
The landowners suing TransCanada also question its proposed use of eminent domain to acquire the remaining land needed for the pipeline easement through Nebraska.
Domina argues the use of eminent domain by a foreign company is not common practice.
“It isn’t unheard of, but it’s very unusual,” according to Domina. “And it usually occurs only on a border in connection with something that, because of its physicality, kind of laps over the border; very unusual out here in the middle of the country.”
The landowner’s complaint will go to trial in Holt County in O’Neill next month.
The court has temporarily halted eminent domain proceedings in February as the legal challenge continues.
Jerry Oster, WNAX, contributed to this report.