Nebraska Supreme Court Rules on Transcanada’s XL Pipeline Route by William Blake
Posted on Aug 23, 2019 in Uncategorized
The Nebraska Supreme Court has affirmed the decision of the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s (PSC) to approve a route through Nebraska for the XL Pipeline, completing one of the final steps before construction of the controversial project can begin. A copy of the full decision can be read here. The project plan is to bury a 36-inch crude oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Southern Nebraska. First announced in 2008, it has remained the focus of controversy and litigation for eleven years. During that time, the project underwent two route changes through Nebraska, after acquisition of a majority of the needed corridor easements had already occurred. Several condemnation actions were dismissed as premature, until a final route was approved. In 2017 the PSC, an administrative regulatory body with the power to determine whether a major oil pipeline route is in the public interest, approved a route. Transcanada had requested approval of its second proposed route, but that route met with substantial opposition. In November, 2017, the PSC approved a different route, closely paralleling the route of Transcanada’s earlier Keystone pipeline. A number of farmers and ranchers along the approved route, joined by several native American tribes and environmental groups, appealed the PSC’s decision to the Nebraska Supreme Court. Although the appeal was thought to be placed on the fast track, over a year and a half later, the Nebraska Supreme Court finally entered its unanimous ruling. Rejecting the appellants’ various arguments, the court held that the question of whether a […]
Department of Energy Moves Forward With First-Of-Its-Kind Exercise of Authority While Bill to Protect Property Owners Remains Pending
Posted on May 10, 2016 in Articles
Last year, Representative Steve Womack (R-AR) and Senator John Boozman (R-AR) proposed matching versions of the Assuring Private Property Rights Over Vast Access to Land Act (the “APPROVAL Act”) in the House and Senate. The APPROVAL Act would limit the U.S. Department of Energy’s authority under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 by requiring approval from a state’s governor and public service commission for any Section 1222 energy transmission project before the federal government may use the power of eminent domain to take private property.
State and Federal Legislators Considering Changes to Eminent Domain Laws
Posted on Mar 8, 2016 in Articles
Recently, state and federal lawmakers from across the country have introduced a number of legislative changes in the areas of private property rights and eminent domain. In this article, we highlight some of the latest (potential) legislative developments.
The Keystone XL Pipeline Isn’t the Only Pipeline Concerning Property Owners
Posted on Oct 28, 2015 in Articles
We have talked a lot recently about the ongoing debate and eminent domain issues involving TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL Pipeline across the western United States. But, this is by no means the only pipeline activity going on in the country. In fact, up and down the East Coast, property owners – many of whom are represented by our eminent domain lawyers – are battling to protect their land against a number of different pipeline projects.
Latest Developments Regarding Eminent Domain and the Keystone XL Pipeline
Posted on Sep 30, 2015 in News & Events
Since President Obama’s veto of a Senate bill authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in February, speculation regarding the ultimate fate of the pipeline project has continued to swirl. As we fast approach the seven-year anniversary of the Keystone XL pipeline’s original proposal, Congress, the Canadian government, residents along the pipeline’s proposed path and TransCanada (the oil company behind the pipeline) all appear to be getting anxious about the President’s and the State Department’s impending decision on whether to allow the project to move forward.
Property Owners’ Frequently Asked Questions About the Keystone XL Pipeline
Posted on Sep 4, 2015 in Articles
If you own property on the proposed route of the Keystone XL Pipeline, it is important to understand your legal rights. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Keystone XL Pipeline. You can also read our answers to frequently asked questions about eminent domain.
Injunction Issued to Prevent Condemnation of Property for XL Pipeline in Nebraska
Posted on Feb 13, 2015 in News & Events
The Judge of the District Court of Holt County, Nebraska issued a temporary injunction on February 12, 2015, halting Transcanada’s efforts in Nebraska to acquire easement rights for the XL pipeline through eminent domain proceedings. Transcanada had filed over one hundred proceedings in county courts along the proposed route in January, to obtain the permanent and temporary easements needed to complete the pipeline corridor.
“It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over:” Nebraska Supreme Court Rules (or Maybe Not) on the Validity of the TransCanada XL Pipeline Route Approval Through Nebraska
Posted on Jan 13, 2015 in Articles
Probably no appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court has been watched more closely by more people than the challenge to the statutory routing process for the proposed TransCanada XL Pipeline.
The Saga of the Keystone Pipelines in Nebraska: Unconstitutional Regulation, and Lessons on How to Acquire Property and How Not to Acquire Property
Posted on Apr 30, 2014 in Articles
Members of Owner’s Counsel of America, who regularly represent property owners in condemnation situations, tend to be naturally very protective of private property rights. We enjoy events that shed light on this dark corner of the law, especially when they help to shape public opinion in favor of property rights.