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NATIONAL
February 19, 2014 | By David Lauter
A state judge in Nebraska has dealt another setback to the long-debated Keystone XL pipeline, ruling that a state law passed in 2012 violated the state's constitution by giving the governor power to approve the pipeline's route. The pipeline “has become a political lightning rod for both supporters and opponents,” Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie F. Stacy wrote , “but the issues before this court have nothing to do with the merits of that pipeline.” Instead, she said, the case involved the Nebraska Constitution's grant of authority to the five-person Public Service Commission for “regulation of rates, service and general control of common carriers,” which includes pipelines.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was indicted Tuesday on a dozen felony counts connected to the massive 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight people and ravaged a San Bruno, Calif., neighborhood. The utility was charged with violating federal pipeline safety laws, including failing to identify all potential threats to the aging, high-pressure line that sparked the disaster and not maintaining proper repair records, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
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OPINION
April 4, 2013 | By James Hansen
In March, the State Department gave the president cover to open a big spigot that will hitch our country to one of the dirtiest fuels on Earth for 40 years or more. The draft environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline acknowledges tar sands are nasty stuff for the environment, but concludes that the project is OK because this oil will get to market anyway - with or without a pipeline. A public comment period is underway through April 22, after which the department will prepare a final statement to help the administration decide whether the pipeline is in the "national interest.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 | By Hector Becerra
Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Thursday it expects federal officials to bring criminal charges against the company in connection with a 2010 gas pipeline blast that devastated a San Bruno neighborhood and killed eight people. PG&E said it was negotiating with the U.S. attorney's office for some type of resolution but provided few details. A spokesperson for the office in San Francisco declined to comment on the investigation or say what if any charges were being considered.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2012 | By Dean Kuipers
With the U.S. Senate poised to begin debate on a bill that would greenlight the controversial Keystone XL pipeline as early as Tuesday, activists and other citizens have barraged the Senate with more than 350,000 petitions opposing the legislation in less than five hours. Activists Bill McKibben , Robert Redford and other celebs such as Kyra Sedgwick and Ian Somerhalder have joined the Natural Resources Defense Council, 350.org, the Sierra Club and other groups in coordinating the petition effort . The goal is 500,000 messages to the Senate by Tuesday.
NEWS
August 26, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee
The State Department has concluded that the highly controversial proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline would not have “significant impacts” on the environment, removing a major barrier to the construction of a $7-billion project that would ship oil sands crude oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. The State Department's findings, part of the final environmental impact statement for Keystone XL, were hailed by the oil industry and sharply criticized by environmentalists. Though other pipelines from Canada have sailed through the government approval process with little reaction from industry or environmentalists, Keystone XL has become a fraught issue in Washington and the Midwest, and it threatens to become a significant political liability for President Obama, whatever the outcome.  The final environmental impact statement is not the last word on the project.
NATIONAL
August 16, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
The Canadian pipeline company TransCanada has quietly begun construction of the southern leg of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, installing segments near Livingston, Texas, company officials confirmed Thursday. “Construction started on Aug. 9. So we've now started construction in Texas,” TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard told the Los Angeles Times. The southern section of the pipeline received government approval in July. The first in a series of protests also was launched Thursday as opponents of the pipeline, designed to eventually carry diluted bitumen from the tar sands of northern Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, unfurled protest banners at two equipment staging yards in Texas and Oklahoma.
NATIONAL
February 19, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian and Neela Banerjee
A Nebraska court ruling Wednesday left the long-troubled Keystone XL pipeline with no approved route through the state, dealing the project a legal setback that could delay it at least a year. Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie F. Stacy struck down a 2012 law that gave Republican Gov. Dave Heineman authority to approve the pipeline's route, bypassing the state's Public Service Commission. Her decision came in a lawsuit filed by three property owners whose land was in the pipeline's path.
NEWS
December 2, 2013 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON -- Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund executive and environmental activist from San Francisco, chose his venue carefully. “It is here President Obama drew his own personal line in the sand,” Steyer said as he convened a conference on the Keystone XL pipeline Monday at Georgetown University. The reference was to a speech by Obama in June in which the president declared he would approve Keystone only if backers of the pipeline could prove that the project would not accelerate climate change.
NEWS
March 22, 2012 | By Christi Parsons
President Obama said Thursday morning that his administration has assured the builder of the Keystone pipeline that the federal government will promptly review the southern leg of the project, which the company hopes to start building this summer. “The southern leg of it, we're making a priority,” Obama told a crowd of company officials, pipe workers and community members gathered here at the starting point of this stretch of the project. The northern portion of the project, Obama said, “we're going to have to review to make sure that the health and safety of the American people are protected.” The Obama administration has denied a permit for that northern pipeline, opposed by environmentalists because the original plans would have run it through environmentally sensitive lands.
NEWS
March 19, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- Nearly half of Democrats favor granting a permit for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The $5.3-billion pipeline, which would ship oil from Hardisty, Canada, to Steele City, Neb., has undergone five years of reviews to get a presidential permit needed for infrastructure projects that cross a United States border. Environmentalists and some major Democratic donors and activists have opposed the pipeline, contending it would worsen greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.
NATIONAL
February 26, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
The State Department did not violate conflict-of-interest rules when it chose an outside contractor to conduct an environmental impact study of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the department's inspector general concluded in a report issued Wednesday. The conclusion came as a blow to environmental groups seeking to stop the pipeline's construction. They had urged an investigation of recent business ties between TransCanada, which plans to build it, and Environmental Resources Management, which conducted the environmental assessment.
NEWS
February 24, 2014 | By Michael. A Memoli and Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON -- President Obama told the nation's governors Monday that a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline could come in a matter of months, signaling he did not intend to let a recent court ruling derail his decision on whether to approve the much-debated project. The president's comments came during a question-and-answer session at the White House as part of the annual National Governors Assn. winter meeting. The session was private, but several participants said the president committed to making a decision in a matter of months.
NATIONAL
February 19, 2014 | By David Lauter
A state judge in Nebraska has dealt another setback to the long-debated Keystone XL pipeline, ruling that a state law passed in 2012 violated the state's constitution by giving the governor power to approve the pipeline's route. The pipeline “has become a political lightning rod for both supporters and opponents,” Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie F. Stacy wrote , “but the issues before this court have nothing to do with the merits of that pipeline.” Instead, she said, the case involved the Nebraska Constitution's grant of authority to the five-person Public Service Commission for “regulation of rates, service and general control of common carriers,” which includes pipelines.
NATIONAL
February 19, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian and Neela Banerjee
A Nebraska court ruling Wednesday left the long-troubled Keystone XL pipeline with no approved route through the state, dealing the project a legal setback that could delay it at least a year. Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie F. Stacy struck down a 2012 law that gave Republican Gov. Dave Heineman authority to approve the pipeline's route, bypassing the state's Public Service Commission. Her decision came in a lawsuit filed by three property owners whose land was in the pipeline's path.
OPINION
February 14, 2014
Re "Obama's pipeline dilemma," Opinion, Feb. 12 Doyle McManus aptly points out several of the political pros and cons related to President Obama's decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. What he fails to address is the need for fossil fuels to be left underground and for us to convert to renewables. McManus suggests procrastination by Obama might be a virtue. The destruction of Canada's boreal forest and the continued release of carbon into the atmosphere don't qualify. Far more virtuous would be for Obama to follow through on his 2013 inauguration promise: "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations....
NATIONAL
September 5, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
Activists battling a new oil pipeline chained themselves to bulldozers in Texas on Wednesday, temporarily halting route-clearance work in the latest protest against the Keystone XL project to carry oil from the tar sands of northern Canada. But TransCanada, the company that hopes to build the pipeline, took an important step forward with a proposed new route for the northern segment of the line. The company says the route would skirt the delicate Nebraska Sandhills, the permeable sands that lie atop one of the nation's most important agricultural aquifers.
NEWS
March 21, 2012 | By Christi Parsons
After being pummeled for months by both left and right over the Keystone XL pipeline, the Obama administration is trying to start over -- this time with a new name. In January, the administration turned down an application to build the pipeline from Canada's tar sands region to the Gulf Coast. TransCanada, the company that wants to build the pipeline, more recently announced plans to go ahead with the southern portion of the route, starting from Cushing, Okla., which White House officials maintain is the more urgently needed part.
NATIONAL
February 13, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Two people were injured after a Kentucky natural-gas line exploded and sparked a blaze early Thursday morning, setting homes on fire and leaving a large crater, officials said. Columbia Gulf Transmission LLC, which runs the pipeline that runs near the small town of Knifley, said the company detected a "drop in pressure" on the gas line at 1:05 a.m. Central time. The two victims were treated and released from the hospital by 8 a.m., the company said in a statement, adding that the cause of the "rupture" was under investigation.
OPINION
February 12, 2014 | Doyle McManus
The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline may look like just another example of the partisan divide on Capitol Hill. If only it were that easy. President Obama's dilemma over whether to approve the 1,600-mile pipeline, which would move oil from Canada to Texas, has more to do with disagreements within the Democratic Party, and with foreign relations. Environmentalists, including some of the Democrats' biggest donors, have seized on Keystone as a test of Obama's commitment to halting global warming.
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