Keystone XL Pipeline

TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, is suing the U.S. government because President Obama struck down the next step in the pipeline plan in November. The company says Obama's rejection exceeded his authority under the Constitution, NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

Ending a process that has lingered for much of his time in the Oval Office, President Obama announced Friday that the U.S. has rejected TransCanada's application for a permit to complete the Keystone XL pipeline.

After spending years as a political football in the U.S., the Keystone XL pipeline's would-be builder is now asking for a timeout in the review process. Why now? Changing politics in the U.S. and Canada, falling oil prices and mounting pressure from environmentalists have marked a turnaround for the company, which had pushed for approval of the project, and its supporters.

Here are five things to know about where the pipeline stands now:

1. Geography gives the U.S. government a say

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out against the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. It's something she has spent months avoiding taking a position on — and her announcement coincided with the mass media event of Pope Francis' landing at Andrews Air Force Base.

Courtesy keystone-xl.com

LINCOLN, Neb. — Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline appealed to Nebraska lawmakers on Wednesday in their latest effort to overturn the state law that allowed former Gov. Dave Heineman to approve a route through the state.

About 60 landowners and activists rallied at the state Capitol in Lincoln as pipeline developer TransCanada Corp. defended its use of eminent domain to gain access to property owned by holdouts.

Their arguments in a nearly five-hour hearing included several testy exchanges with senators who support the pipeline. Opponents asked lawmakers to pass a bill that would reverse the 2012 pipeline-siting law.

The law allowed TransCanada to bypass Nebraska’s Public Service Commission, which reviews most pipeline proposals, and seek approval instead through a state agency overseen by the governor. Heineman, a Republican, supported the project.

Pages