The Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared a last hurdle on Monday as Nebraska regulators granted final approval for the project’s route, according to reports.
The builder of the pipeline, TransCanada Corp., will spend an estimated $8 billion on a 1,200 mile pipeline that will bring oil from Canada’s oil sands, first to North Dakota, and then on through South Dakota and then to an existing pipeline in Nebraska. From there, oil will be shipped to distribution hubs in Texas and Louisiana, according to CNBC.
Keystone and jobs
President Trump has been a strong supporter of the XL project, and has issued executive orders paving the way for other similar projects, including the Dakota Access pipeline, and something called the Alberta Clipper pipeline.
Proponents of the pipeline say it will benefit the economy by freeing the U.S. from energy dependence overseas, and by creating new construction jobs.
TransCanada, citing a U.S. State Department study in a recent filing, said the Keystone XL project could create as many as 42,000 new jobs and could add up to $34 billion to the economy, Bloomberg reports.
The Keystone XL has been held up for years over concerns from Native American and environmental groups, as well as local property owners and the Obama Administration, which mounted challenges to the project in state court.
Groups that oppose the project could still bring challenges in court, as the approved route hasn’t been assessed by opponents, according to reports.
However, the Keystone XL pipeline remains controversial. Last week, a sister project operated by TransCanada leaked more than 200,000 gallons of oil into neighboring South Dakota.