TransCanada made the request in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.
“We are asking State to pause its review of Keystone XL based on the fact that we have applied to the Nebraska Public Service Commission for approval of its preferred route in the state,” TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said in a written statement released by the company. “I note that when the status of the Nebraska pipeline route was challenged last year, the State Department found it appropriate to suspend its review until that dispute was resolved. We feel under the current circumstances a similar suspension would be appropriate.”
The request for a suspension of the review comes on the heels of TransCanada’s decision to take a different course in Nebraska. TransCanada abandoned efforts to use new state law to sanction the Keystone XL route through Nebraska and reverted to older statutes that gives jurisdiction over common carriers to the Public Service Commission.
The new state law which gives the governor the ultimate authority over the route of oil pipelines has been challenged in court, tying up the process to approve the Keystone XL route through Nebraska.
Former Gov. Dave Heineman had approved a route for Keystone XL in 2013. The Public Service Commission anticipates its review of the proposed route could take as long as a year.
The Keystone XL oil pipeline is a proposed $8 billion project intended to carry crude proposed from oil sands in western Canada to oil refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas.