Keystone XL pipeline approved

Nebraska regulators voted to approve TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline route through the state, lifting the last big regulatory obstacle for the long-delayed project that US President Donald Trump wants built. VIDEO: REUTERS

UNITED STATES (REUTERS) - Nebraska regulators voted 'yes' on TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline that will link Alberta's oil sands to US refineries.

The project has stirred controversy since it was first advocated nearly a decade ago.

Former US president Barack Obama considered it for years before rejecting it in 2015 on environmental grounds.

Current President Donald Trump reversed that decision saying Keystone will lower fuel prices, boost national security, and bring jobs.

Mizuho Securities' Bob Yawger says the pipeline will increase US capacity as an oil-exporting region.

"It's good for crude oil. It will bring barrels to the United States, assuming that they proceed without going to court. But it's less than a ideal deal for Keystone.

"Everybody has written off as kind of like this great event. But it is the alternative route.

"And 100 per cent of Keystone's is partners, 100 per cent of TransCanada's customers are not going to be along that route. So, it's going to be some adjustments.

"But I'd say, it's the best deal that they could have gotten, and, I believe, this is at the end of day, be the final route," said Yawger.

Opposition to Keystone in Nebraska has been driven mainly by landowners whose farms lie along the proposed route. They are worried spills could pollute water and that tax revenue from the pipeline will be short-lived and jobs will be temporary.