Judge Sides With Landowners, Strikes Down Eminent Domain Law Allowing Keystone XL
Yesterday the Lancaster County District Court in Lincoln, NE found LB 1161—the law that amended Nebraska state pipeline laws to clear the way for the Keystone XL pipeline by granting the power of eminent domain to Gov. Heineman and in turn TransCananda—unconstitutional and void, according to Bold Nebraska.
"Citizens won today," said Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska. “We beat a corrupt bill that Gov. Heineman and the Nebraska Legislature passed in order to pave the way for a foreign corporation to run roughshod over American landowners."
“TransCanada learned a hard lesson today: never underestimate the power of family farmers and ranchers protecting their land and water."
The law, signed by Gov. Heineman (R-NE) in 2012, was challenged by three Nebraska landowners. Included in the ruling was a permanent injunction preventing Gov. Heineman and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality from taking any further action to authorize or advance the Keystone XL under the unconstitutional law.
"Laws must be passed to protect the land, water and landowners rights regarding eminent domain and the right to due process," said plaintiff and Nebraska landowner Susan Dunavan.
"I commend Judge Stacy for her diligence in examining the serious issues of this case and applaud her for upholding citizens rights given by them by the Nebraska State Constitution."
"[TransCanada] came out here like a bunch of bullies and tried to force it down our throats," said plaintiff and Nebraska rancher and landowner Randy Thompson. "They told us there was nothing we could do to stop it."
Yesterday's ruling could have significant implications on the final permit approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which now rests with President Obama, who will decide if it serves in the national interest.
The President has faced intense pressure from the Canadian government to approve the controversial project that would carry 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. President Obama has said his approval will only come if it can be proven that the pipeline would “not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”
Yesterday a meeting of the three North American leaders—President Obama, Prime Minister Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto—took place in Toluca, Mexico, where Harper again pushed the issue of Keystone XL, according to The Globe and Mail. During a press conference after the summit, President Obama seemed unswayed, reportedly saying, “Keystone will proceed along the path that’s already been set for it.”
The President also said that all decisions—and not just Keystone XL—should take greenhouse gas emissions into account, again highlighting the importance of tackling climate change.
Watch the Ed Show from Feb. 19 where Ed Schultz and an environmental panel discusses the importance of this victory.
Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL page for more related news on this topic.
A coalition of conservation groups and others announced Thursday that a historic number of comments and petitions of support have been submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior in support of Bears Ears National Monument. Despite the entirely inadequate 15-day comment period ending on May 26, more than 685,000 comments in support of Bears Ears National Monument have been collected.
By Lena Moffitt
An oil tanker in Mead, Colorado exploded, killing one and injuring three on Thursday. Authorities are continuing to investigate the cause of the explosion.
In an unusual procedural move, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers filed motions Thursday requesting the court's permission to withdraw from the Juliana v. US climate lawsuit, brought by 21 young people. The associations are following the lead of the National Association of Manufacturers, who filed a similar motion to withdraw on May 22.
Twenty-two GOP senators sent a letter Thursday urging Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris agreement. They argued remaining in the deal could "upend" the administration's ability "to fulfill its goal of rescinding the Clean Power Plan."
By Cheryl Johncox
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected on Thursday Energy Transfer Partners' request to resume horizontal directional drilling at two sites for its Rover fracked gas pipeline. This rejection comes after numerous leaks into Ohio's wetlands, and Clean Air and Clean Water act violations. FERC has halted the process at only eight locations of the 32 where drilling is taking place under Ohio's wetlands and streams.
By Nadia Prupis
A majority of people in eight countries say they are ready to change their lifestyles if it would prevent climate catastrophe, a survey on global threats released Wednesday found.
Bill Maher is sick of billionaires' obsession with Mars, more like "Mars-a-Lago," he said.
In a new animation produced by ATTN:, the popular talk show host of Real Time, discusses the perils of our planet, including how "climate change is killing us."