The Latest: State Department studying Nebraska decisionNovember 20, 2017 9:57pm

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Latest on Nebraska regulators deciding whether to approve a Keystone XL oil pipeline through the state (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

The U.S. State Department is looking into whether Nebraska's approval of a modified route for the Keystone XL pipeline will affect the federal permit that pipeline developer TransCanada received in March.

A State Department spokeswoman said Monday that the agency was aware of the Nebraska Public Service Commission's decision and was trying to get more information about it.

President Donald Trump approved the presidential permit for the pipeline in March and hailed it as "incredible." Federal approval was required because the pipeline would cross the U.S. border from Canada to Phillips County, Montana.


2 p.m.

The chairman of a Native American tribe in South Dakota says members are "highly disappointed" Nebraska regulators approved the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline after an oil spill near the tribe's reservation.

Dave Flute is the tribal chairman of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate. Flute said Monday his tribe will stand with other tribal nations to oppose pipelines.

Nebraska regulators voted earlier Monday to approve a route for the pipeline through the state. The vote came just days after an estimated 210,000 gallons (794,913 liters) of oil spilled near the tribe's land in South Dakota from TransCanada Corp.'s existing Keystone pipeline.

Nebraska officials have said state law didn't allow regulators to consider pipeline safety as a factor in their decision.

TransCanada wants to build the nearly 1,200-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada through several states, including South Dakota. Opponents in South Dakota are also fighting the project in court.


12:30 p.m.

The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline says it plans to review a Nebraska regulator's decision to approve a different route through the state than what the company had preferred.

TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said Monday that the company will assess how the ruling would affect the project's schedule and cost. He offered no further comment.

The alternative route follows the same path as the company's preferred route through northern Nebraska then veers southeast, away from the diagonal path of the preferred route, until it meets up with the original Keystone pipeline in southern Stanton County, Nebraska.

The alternative route would then run alongside the existing pipeline until it connects with that pipeline in Steele City, Nebraska.


11:20 a.m.

Opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline say a Nebraska commission's decision to approve an alternative route will enable them to take actions that could indefinitely block the project.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission on Monday approved a route for the proposed pipeline, but it veers away from a route preferred by developer TransCanada and approved by the federal government.

Pipeline opponents already had planned to appeal the commission's decision in court. They say the panel's decision on Monday brings up new issues that could be challenged in court.

Ken Winston is an attorney representing environmental groups. He says the vote, "opens up a whole new bag of issues that we can raise."

Jane Kleeb, heads the pipeline opposition group Bold Alliance. She says her group believes TransCanada will have to seek another federal review of the route in a process that could take years.


10:15 a.m.

A Nebraska commission has approved an alternative Keystone XL route through the state, removing the last regulatory hurdle to the $8 billion oil pipeline project.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission voted on the long-delayed project Monday, though the decision could still be challenged in court. The commission was forbidden by law from considering a recent oil spill on the existing Keystone pipeline in its decision.

The alternative route would run farther north than the originally proposed route.

TransCanada Corp.'s plan to build a nearly 1,200-mile (1,931-kilometer) pipeline faces intense opposition from environmental groups, Native American tribes and some landowners.

Business groups and some unions support the project as a way to create jobs. President Donald Trump issued a federal permit allowing for the project in March, reversing President Barack Obama administration's rejection of it.


12:10 a.m.

A Nebraska regulator is set to decide whether to approve the proposed route of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline through the state.

The decision Monday could have a big impact on whether TransCanada Corp. decides to proceed with construction of the project, which was first proposed in 2008 but repeatedly delayed.

The five-member Nebraska Public Service Commission vote is the last major regulatory hurdle for Keystone XL, which was approved earlier this year by President Donald Trump in a reversal of the Obama administration's rejection in 2015.

Landowners along the route and environmentalists have opposed the project. Some businesses and unions have supported it as a job creator.

The commission will not be allowed to take into account an oil spill on the existing Keystone pipeline last week.

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