Energy Policy, Oil, State Department

Keystone XL Pipeline Faced Scrutiny in Nebraska Supreme Court September 5, 2014 Hearing

rsz_1transcanada-keystone-pipeline-system-map-2014-02-25The Keystone XL pipeline project faced a major hurdle in the Nebraska Supreme Court last Friday, as federal approval of the pipeline may be influenced by the court’s decision regarding the constitutionality of the process by which the pipeline had gained approval to run through the state. The pipeline has been subject to delay for quite some time, and this year has been notable in the progression of the pipeline’s review. The year began with the U.S. Department of State’s (“State Department”) release of its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, which elicited sighs of relief from many who saw no more excuses for the federal government to delay approval.  An excuse did come quickly thereafter though in the form of an order from a Nebraska trial court that overturned the state law and Governor’s decision under which the Keystone XL pipeline had been approved by the state. On February 9, 2014, the state trial court ruled that the Nebraska Public Service Commission was the agency vested with the authority to decide the matter, based on a categorization of the pipeline as a “common carrier” over which the state constitution grants authority to the Public Service Commission. Following challenges raised regarding the trial court’s decision, the State Department announced in April that it would extend the period for government agencies to submit their views on the project, given “the uncertainty created by the ongoing litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state.” The Nebraska Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding the propriety of the state trial court’s ruling on September 5, 2014, delving into whether the landowners who brought the suit have standing and the common carrier classification made by the trial court.

Given the Administration’s desire to await a decision from the Nebraska high court, a final decision regarding approval of the project is not expected until after mid-term elections in November. It is reported that approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is high on the list of priorities for Republican senators, “[a]s odds improve that the GOP will control both chambers of Congress next year.”  A bill to expedite approval for the Keystone pipeline was passed by the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources in June 2014 and still is pending consideration by the full Senate. You can read our previous Keystone posts for additional information. We will keep you posted on developments.

Brian Heslin

About Brian Heslin

Brian Heslin represents energy companies in regulatory proceedings at the state and federal level. In addition, he provides advice on busines and strategic planning, upstream natural gas supply and capacity negotiation, compliance and other related services.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Welcome to the Energy Interdependency Blog!

The landscape of the energy industry is rapidly changing, with a focus on the development of clean, domestic energy sources and a secure, reliable energy infrastructure driving significant changes in the interdependency of energy industry segments and an increase in government regulation. Continued growth in the domestic production of oil and natural gas has positioned the U.S. to be an energy exporter in the global market and will have a marked impact on the course of the industry’s development.

The Moore & Van Allen Energy Interdependency Blog seeks to inform companies navigating the domestic and global energy markets by providing leading-edge insight on issues critical to energy interdependency and developments in energy policy, regulation, and related litigation.

Connect to Recent Authors

  • Brian Heslin:  View Brian Heslin's Bio View Brian Heslin's LinkedIn profileFollow @BrianHeslin on Twitter
  • Mindy Vervais:  View Mindy Vervais’ Bio View Mindy Vervais’ LinkedIn profile

  • Subscribe to Blog Via Email

    Follow MVA

    Facebooktwitterlinkedinrss

    Blog Topics

    Archives


    Our Energy Practice

    Headquartered in the burgeoning energy hub of Charlotte, NC, Moore & Van Allen has an extensive energy practice that is national and international in scope. Our energy team is composed of highly-skilled attorneys from a cross-section of legal disciplines with a thorough understanding of the complex technologies, transactions, and regulations inherent to the energy industry and its various segments, including natural gas & LNG, electricity, oil, water & sewer, telecommunications, and alternative energy & green technology.

    We leverage our significant experience to guide our clients successfully through the intricacies of their businesses, from marketing, compliance counseling, and project development, to project finance, federal and state regulation, investigations and litigation. We proudly and successfully serve companies throughout the nation, including the largest natural gas and electric companies in the Carolinas. Read More About Our Practice and Meet the MVA Energy Team.

    Disclaimer

    No Attorney-Client Relationship Created by Use of this Website: Neither your receipt of information from this website, nor your use of this website to contact Moore & Van Allen or one of its attorneys creates an attorney-client relationship between you and Moore & Van Allen. As a matter of policy, Moore & Van Allen does not accept a new client without first investigating for possible conflicts of interests and obtaining a signed engagement letter. (Moore & Van Allen may, for example, already represent another party involved in your matter.) Accordingly, you should not use this website to provide confidential information about a legal matter of yours to Moore & Van Allen.


    No Legal Advice Intended: This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. (Read All)