Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline opponents plead case - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline opponents plead case

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By: Lauren Fabrizi

Dozens of protestors lined up Friday at the Lancaster County Courthouse hoping to get their voices heard, and ultimately, the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline route blocked.

Three landowners are suing the state of Nebraska and Governor Heineman saying the fast–tracked approval of the pipeline in Nebraska was unconstitutional.

They went before a judge Friday to plead their case.

They argued the governor should not have the power to decide whether TransCanada gets to run a pipeline through the state. They said it should be up to the legislature.

"I feel like legislature has kind of forgotten who they're supposed to be representing here," landowner Randy Thompson said. "On almost every side of this issue they have went with a foreign corporation rather than their own citizens."

The landowners also argued that the project would be an unlawful expenditure of state funds.

"The legislature should not be permitted to pass a law that we the citizens pay your bills, or my bills or TransCanada's bills," attorney Dave Domina said.

The state said the case should be thrown out because it lacks merit. Attorneys for the state said taxpayer dollars would not be used to get the pipeline built.

Supporters have said the Keystone XL Pipeline would bring numerous jobs to the area, would help stimulate the economy and would lessen the country's dependency on overseas oil.

If the landowners were to win the lawsuit, TransCanada would have to start its siting process from scratch. Right now, all the opponents can do is wait.

"It's just wrong what they've done to the older people and to our future generations, our water, our sand hills," landowner Suz Luebbe said. "It just needs to go away."

The judge said she needs to review all the information before making a decision.

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