From Associated Press/New York Times
State regulators on Tuesday again approved the section of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would go through South Dakota, despite the project’s stalled status at the federal level.
The Public Utilities Commission’s decision also hinges on a requirement that TransCanada Corporation receive a presidential permit for the project. President Obama blocked the pipeline in November, but it could be revived by the next administration. TransCanada’s proposed pipeline would go from Canada through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the gulf coast.
Opponents had argued that the company would have to start from the beginning with a new application. The Public Utilities Commission rejected that thinking last month. The state authorized the pipeline in 2010, but permits must be revisited if construction does not start within four years. The commission voted to accept the company’s guarantee that it can complete the project while meeting the conditions of the 2010 approval.