Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - August 18, 2017 


In our rundown spotlight today: at least 13 are dead in Barcelona after a driver ran his van into pedestrians; a researcher examines ways to resolve racial inequality; and a new study finds Latinos will fuel a quarter of America's economic growth in 2020.

Daily Newscasts

Nebraska Regulators Take Formal Testimony on Keystone XL

Nebraska's Public Service Commission has until until Nov. 23 to decide if the Keystone XL pipeline is in the public interest. (Elvert Barnes/Flickr)
Nebraska's Public Service Commission has until until Nov. 23 to decide if the Keystone XL pipeline is in the public interest. (Elvert Barnes/Flickr)
August 7, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Will the Keystone XL pipeline route run through Nebraska? That's the question still up in the air as the Nebraska Public Service Commission begins formal hearings on the proposal Monday.

An estimated 830,000 barrels of crude oil would travel through the pipeline daily from Canada to Nebraska, through Montana and South Dakota - both of which already have approved permits. Mark Hefflinger, digital and communications director with Bold Nebraska, said there are serious concerns about threats to private property by eminent domain, as well as environmental threats to water, land, and health.

"We have, over the last almost 10 years now, established a really amazing, unlikely alliance of farmers and ranchers, environmentalists, Native American and indigenous allies,” Hefflinger said. "We have a broad coalition of folks including everyday Americans who just believe in protecting our land, water and climate."

The pipeline's owner, TransCanada, has contended the route is safe, and says construction will boost the state's economy through jobs and property taxes. Four hearings with public testimony were heard earlier this year, and this week approved interveners will present their cases before the commission.

Hefflinger said opponents outnumbered supporters at the public hearings. He added that hundreds of thousands of written public comments also opposed the project.

"This Friday's actually the last day for members of the public to submit public comments,” he said. “And 8:30 in the morning on Thursday in Lincoln, join us to deliver all of the public's written comments to the PSCU."

Nebraska's Public Service Commission has until November 23 to decide if the route is in the public interest. While the ruling is the final regulatory hurdle for the pipeline, a TransCanada executive reportedly said the company will make an official decision in December on whether to begin construction.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - NE