Times Colonist

Transcanad­a questions Nebraska pipeline law

- REBECCA PENTY

CALGARY — Transcanad­a Corp. says Nebraska lawmakers will have a tough time introducin­g bills to regulate locating pipelines in the state that don’t just target the company’s Keystone XL project, rendering any resulting legislatio­n unconstitu­tional.

“That’s a very difficult, highbar hurdle for them to get over,” the Calgary firm’s CEO Russ Girling said Tuesday.

“Basically to thread the needle between not having legislatio­n that is so narrow that it just captures our pipeline but broad enough that it can be thought of in terms of all the other implicatio­ns it would have on the state with respect to oil and gas developmen­t, infrastruc­ture developmen­t, no matter what that would be, through the [ecological­ly sensitive] Sand Hills.”

Nebraska senators began a special session Tuesday to discuss introducin­g legislatio­n that would give the state regulatory oversight of oil and gas pipeline siting, so it can force Transcanad­a to reroute its proposed pipeline away from freshwater resources.

“Any legislatio­n is going to be a very tricky and difficult thing to implement,” Girling said on a conference call to discuss TransCanad­a’s financial results.

Transcanad­a’s third-quarter operating profit rose 1.8 per cent on higher electricit­y prices in Western Canada and new pipelines, including the first phase of its Keystone system. Third-quarter net income rose to $384 million, or 55 cents a share, from $377 million, or 54 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Earnings were $417 million, or 59 cents a share, up 12 per cent from $374 million, or 54 cents a share. That beat the average estimate among analysts of 57 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue rose 12 per cent to $2.39 billion from $2.13 billion.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman said he will do everything in the state’s power to push for an alternativ­e route for the $7-billion, 2,700-kilometre Keystone line.

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