LINCOLN — The Nebraska Public Service Commission will announce its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline next week.
The commission’s five elected members plan to vote on a proposed order during a public meeting at 10 a.m. Monday at the commission headquarters, 1200 N St., Suite 300, in Lincoln, according to a news release. The release didn’t say whether a majority of commissioners plan to support approving or denying the application by pipeline builder TransCanada.
Doors to the hearing room open at 9:30 a.m. A live video feed of the hearing will be provided by the commission.
Nebraska's approval is one of the final necessary steps before TransCanada could begin turning dirt on the 1,179-mile project, which would move Canadian oil sands from Hardisty, Alberta, to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The proposal has been a subject of controversy for nearly a decade.
The Public Service Commission is tasked with determining whether it is in the public interest for the pipeline to cross through Nebraska.
TransCanada’s application identifies three potential routes through the state, each running from Keya Paha County in north-central Nebraska to a pumping station in Steele City, along the Kansas state line.
The company’s “preferred” route would cut through Boyd, Holt, Antelope, Boone, Nance, Merrick, Polk, York, Fillmore, Saline and Jefferson counties, in that order. A second option, known as the “mainline alternative,” would cut a different path out of Antelope County, bisecting Madison County and entering Stanton County, from where it would follow the route of the existing Keystone pipeline. A third option, the “Sandhills alternative,” would cross 13 counties in central Nebraska.
A court-style hearing in August focused mostly on the 275-mile mainline option.