Energy infrastructure regulators in Nebraska could decide the future of the Keystone XL Pipeline as activists continue opposing the multi-billion dollar oil project.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission will vote Nov. 20 on the project, the agency announced Monday, without tipping its hand on which direction it might take.
President Donald Trump approved the pipeline earlier this year, but state regulators must approve the deal as environmentalists continue lodging lawsuits against Keystone. TransCanada, the project’s developer, also has yet to determine the long-term economic success of building a pipeline during an oil glut.
Oil prices are lower today than they were a decade ago when the pipeline was first proposed. Prices hovered around $130 per barrel during the mid-2000s, which meant that demand from oil producers and refineries was high.
A barrel of oil today sells for about $56, largely due to the emergence of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The natural gas boom took the steam out of traditional crude oil.
TransCanada initially applied for a permit in 2008 and the State Department determined that the project would have no significant impact on the environment. But former President Barack Obama eventually rejected it on the grounds it would diminish the U.S.’s credibility in the fight against global warming.
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