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Keystone XL just won a key approval, days after a 200,000-gallon spill.After nearly a decade of controversy, public service commissioners in Nebraska on Monday greenlit one of the last regulatory hurdles for the proposed $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline. By a 3-2 vote, Nebraska regulators approved TransCanada’s route for the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline, which would bring carbon-intensive heavy tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, into the United States.
The decision comes less than a week after 200,000 gallons of oil—or about 5,000 barrels—spilled from the existing Keystone pipeline system. (The Keystone XL pipeline would be a northern extension of the Keystone pipeline, which goes from Nebraska to Texas.) Concerns over spills was a major reason environmentalists and the Obama administration opposed the project—because along with the general risk of an accident, tar sands oil is notoriously difficult to clean up once it is released into soil or water. Tar sands oil pipelines also spill more often, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which asserts that tar sands oil pipelines in the Upper Midwest have spilled 3.6 times more oil per pipeline mile than the U.S. average.

Keystone XL just won a key approval, days after a 200,000-gallon spill.

After nearly a decade of controversy, public service commissioners in Nebraska on Monday greenlit one of the last regulatory hurdles for the proposed $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline. By a 3-2 vote, Nebraska regulators approved TransCanada’s route for the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline, which would bring…


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