Nebraska governor: The ruling delaying the Keystone XL pipeline needs to be thrown out
posted at 1:21 pm on April 22, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
Earlier this year, a judge in Nebraska basically called a technical foul on the law laying out the administrative process through which the state approved TransCanada’s revised Keystone XL pipeline route proposal, claiming that the law actually violated the state constitution — and unfortunately, the Obama administration’s delayed but all too predictable reaction was to seize on the (for federal purposes, entirely irrelevant) state spat as an excuse to try and delay the pipeline yet again through the midterm elections. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has said he would fight that judge’s ruling, and his administration filed their case with the Nebraska Supreme Court on Monday arguing that the injunction now holding up the pipeline should be straight-up dismissed, via Bloomberg:
Nebraska’s Republican Governor Dave Heineman yesterday asked the state’s top court to throw out a trial judge’s ruling that the pipeline route was approved without proper authority. …
Judge Stephanie Stacy in Lincoln ruled on Feb. 19 that legislation enabling Heineman and TransCanada to bypass the commission when planning the pipeline route violated the state’s constitution.
Stacy erred in allowing a challenge by three property owners to move forward because they hadn’t shown they had been injured as taxpayers by the state’s plan, Heineman, a Republican, said in a filing yesterday with the supreme court.
State Attorney General Jon Bruning, a Republican running to succeed Heineman as governor, argued in the filing that the trial judge set too low a threshold for taxpayers to bring court challenges to state legislation.
Bruning also argued the not all crude oil pipelines qualified as “common carriers” falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.
Unfortunately, even if this case is argued as early as September, that likely still won’t give us a decision until after the midterm elections — and even if it did, the Obama administration would make up some more blather about how they would need even more time to deliberate and factor that decision into their national-interest calculations, blah blah blah.