Keystone XL stirs emotions; and jobs.
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The pipeline siting law that a Nebraska judge struck down Wednesday was hastily assembled on the floor of the legislature in the waning days of the 2012 session in what pipeline opponents have long derided as an end run around the public.
The law deemed unconstitutional by a district judge gave Nebraska’s governor the ultimate authority to approve an oil pipeline route through the state. The state constitution gives that regulatory authority to the state Public Service Commission. The state is appealing the ruling to the Nebraska Supreme Court.
The law, called LB1161, has been a thorn in the side of Nebraska pipeline fighters since it sailed through the Legislature in April 2012 by a final vote of 44-5. The bill was originally introduced as a placeholder by Sen. Jim Smith, R-Papillion, after the Obama administration rejected TransCanada’s initial route for the Keystone XL pipeline to carry oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast.