Nebraska’s Public Service Commission has approved the passage of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline through the state in a 3 to 2 vote, but not along its preferred route for the controversial $10 billion project.
In a written decision, the panel said it was in the public’s interest to put the new pipeline nearer to the current one to maximize monitoring resources, to impact less of the habitat of endangered species, and other route benefits.
The milestone comes after close to a decade of development on the project that Barack Obama rejected after years of review in 2015, only to have President Donald Trump issue the presidential permit in March, saying the pipeline will bring jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
Prior to election, President Trump Tweeted "So sad that Obama rejected Keystone Pipeline. Thousands of jobs, good for the environment, no downside!"
The Keystone XL Pipeline was first rejected in 2015 by President Obama, who raised concerns about its potential environmental effects.
President Trump reversed that decision in March.
The Keystone Pipeline system transfers crude oil via a 2,600-mile route from Alberta, Canada, east into Manitoba, and then south across the US border to Texas, according to parent company TransCanada. It would transport about 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Hardisty, Alta. to Steele City, Neb.
TransCanada has not announced a final decision about whether the project will still go forward, although the AP reports the company says it is operating under the assumption it will.