Keystone XL: 5 basic things you should know

For those not up to speed on the Keystone XL controversy, here is what you need to know.

2. Who is involved in the project?

Lane Hickenbottom/Reuters/File
A TransCanada Keystone Pipeline pump station operates outside Steele City, Nebraska in this March 10, 2014 file photo.

A lot of entities. It was proposed by TransCanada Corp., a Canadian energy infrastructure development company. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a proponent of the pipeline, urging the United States government to approve it.  

Because the pipeline would cross international borders, the US Department of State is involved in decision-making. In this case, the project will have to receive a federal permit from the White House because it falls under the president’s constitutional authority in foreign affairs.

At the state level, the Nebraska Supreme Court heard arguments last month on whether Republican Gov. Dave Heineman had the authority to approve the pipeline’s route through his state. A judge ruled in February that he did not, but the state appealed. The high court’s decision is pending. Other states affected have already approved the pipeline.

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