Jan 09, 2015

By Michael Kramer

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It’s now up to U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Keystone XL pipeline decision now rests in his hands.

A court case has wrapped up in Nebraska.

Obama had said he couldn’t finish a review on Keystone XL – until that case was finished – and the verdict was in.

Pipeline backers are greeting today’s decision by the Nebraska Supreme Court with relief – because a panel of seven judges struck down a lower-court decision, that a state law approving the pipeline route – was adopted by unconstitutional methods.

Four out of seven judges actually voted against the pipeline route but that wasn’t enough. In Nebraska, it takes a supermajority of five judges out of seven – to declare a state law unconstitutional.

Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation has been waiting for more than six years for a U.S. permit to build the $8-billion pipeline – which has caused friction in Canada-U.S. relations.

Keystone XL would connect to an existing TransCanada system, enabling some 830,000 barrels of crude a day to reach the Gulf Coast market – by cutting diagonally from the Saskatchewan-Montana border to Steele City, Nebraska.

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