LINCOLN, Neb. — A Nebraska judge on Wednesday struck down a law that allowed the
Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy's ruling invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of the route. Stacy agreed with opponents' arguments that a law passed in 2011 improperly delegated the decision-making power to Heineman to give the company eminent domain powers within the state. Stacy said the decision should have been made by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which regulates pipelines and other utilities.
The lawsuit was filed by three Nebraska landowners who oppose the pipeline, which is intended to carry oil from Canada's shale deposits to the Gulf of Mexico. Foes contend that a leak could pollute the groundwater.
“Under the court's ruling,
Domina said the ruling means the governor's office has no role to play in the pipeline, and decisions within the state must be made by the Public Service Commission. The decision on a federal permit still rests with President
The ruling could cause more delays in finishing the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas refineries.
Phone messages left with pipeline developer TransCanada were not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.
Last month, the