TransCanada takes steps to acquire Keystone pipeline land

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Democrats plan amendments to require Keystone be built with U.S. steel, use oil domestically.

The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline took its first steps in Nebraska on Tuesday since the state’s high court removed a major legal barrier for the planned route. Officials with TransCanada said they’ve filed paperwork in nine counties to acquire access to the remaining land that’s needed to construct, operate and maintain the pipeline.

Opponents have sued to try to prevent the Calgary, Alberta-based company from using eminent domain and to overturn the state pipeline-siting law that allowed ex-Gov. The pipeline would carry an estimated 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines headed for Gulf Coast refineries. Company officials say they still need to acquire 12 percent of the total land easements from Nebraska landowners who have not yet reached a deal with the company. The State Department has set a February 2 deadline for federal agencies to provide advice on whether to move forward with the hotly debated Keystone XL pipeline.

A department official said in an emailed statement that other federal agencies dealing with environment, commerce and other matters were notified Friday that they have a little over two weeks left to weigh in. Supporters don’t have enough votes to override an expected veto from Obama, who objects to Congress trying to circumvent his administration’s review.

The department didn’t set a timeline for when it would make its long-awaited judgment on whether the pipeline from Canada was in the U.S. national interest. We think 88 percent voluntarily agreements in the last two years is a substantial success.” Pipeline opponents argue that many of the landowners in Montana and South Dakota were “bullied” early in the process and told they had no other option. “Farmers and ranchers have the grit and stomach to prevent TransCanada from polluting our water. Landowners will match TransCanada’s lawsuits in local courts and continue to take our fight to the one person who can put an end to all of this: President Obama,” said Jane Kleeb, executive director of pipeline opposition group Bold Nebraska.

President Barack Obama has downplayed the project’s benefits, and the White House has publicly threatened to veto legislation in Congress that would fast-track the project. In the two lawsuits filed last week — which could delay the entire 1,179-mile Canada-to-Nebraska project — seven landowners in Holt and York counties said they’ve received written warning that pipeline developer intends to initiate eminent domain proceedings. Those still willing to negotiate mostly have concerns about compensation and restoration of native grasslands that could take three to five years to regrow, Craig said. However, where needed, eminent domain allows necessary commodities like food, oil, natural gas and power to have the safe transportation corridors needed to get to where they are used: in homes, factories and the 250 million vehicles that need to start up each day in America.

These actions today follow our efforts late last year to reach out broadly to remaining landowners and Nebraskans through direct correspondence and through local media to inform them of the timelines we are under as a result of the law. On the same day a Montana community is trucking in clean drinking water after a pipeline leak spilled tens of thousands of gallons of oil into their water supply, Canadian oil company TransCanada has served Nebraska families with eminent domain papers to take their land and put Nebraska’s water supply at risk of even worse tar sands spills with the construction of its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. With the backdrop of the Senate debating Keystone XL today, the State of the Union address, and a new NBC poll finding only 41% of Americans approve of the project, we stand with landowners in their call to President Obama to reject the risky pipeline once and for all.

From the Kalamazoo to the Yellowstone rivers and all across the United States, tarsands are a horrible danger and threat that the President must reject.” Meghan Hammond, a landowner whose family owns the Build Our Energy Barn, a clean energy project built directly in the path of Keystone XL that would have to be torn down for the risky pipeline: “My family farms and ranches every day in order to put food on Americans’ tables. Our land is not for sale and we will keep fighting TransCanada until we see their tail lights go back across our border.” Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska Director: “Today, Nebraska families are facing an inconceivable moment when land that has been in their hands for generations is being taken away from them by a foreign oil company.

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