TransCanada Corporation, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, said Thursday that it had filed an application with the Nebraska Public Services Commission to approve of the project, but emerging behind-the-scenes wrangling over the value of the project to Americans seemed an embarrassment to President Trump.
The project was put on hold by President Obama on environmental concerns. President Trump, however, has signed an executive order that called for a streamlined approval process. In doing so, Trump declared that the project would be good for the American steel industry and good for American workers.
Not so, said one of the pipeline’s staunchest opponents.
“Keystone XL is a foreign-owned pipeline, using foreign steel (that will transport oil) headed to the foreign export market,” said Jane Kleeb, president of Bold Nebraska, an environmental group that has opposed the project.
If right, the project goes the other way, undermining U.S. steel interests and undercutting U.S. oil companies.
Kleeb recently gave faint praise to TransCanada, stating the group was “happy to see TransCanada follow the law and our state constitution for the first time in the seven-year battle over Keystone XL.”
She also recently declared Trump was acting “like a dictator,” by calling on the state to expedite the approval process, while shutting down public opinion.
The State Department said it was “not inviting further comment at this time,” despite massive opposition to the project, Bold says.
TransCanada, meanwhile, said it would respect the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) process in seeking permission for the pipeline. “The PSC process is the clearest path to achieving route certainty for the project in Nebraska and is expected to conclude in 2018,” the company said.
According to the company, 90 percent of landowners along the pipeline’s proposed route have signed voluntary easements. The company also said it has listened and learned during the approval process. “We are listening and acting on what we have learned,” a statement from the company reads.