After nine years, two presidential decisions, multiple lawsuits and environmental protests, TransCanada Corp. is about to learn whether it will receive the final state permit needed to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The company will find out on Monday if its Keystone XL pipeline is finally, after months of indecision, able to traverse Nebraska when regulators there give a final thumbs up or down on whether the project is in the state’s interest. If it’s a yes, the decision could spur new legal action by foes; if no, the company may appeal in the courts. A third option, approval but with an adjusted route, could open further complications.

Meanwhile, a spill in TransCanada’s existing Keystone line in South Dakota on Thursday sparked new attacks by environmentalists who pointed to the event as something the state could expect if the project is approved. While the officials can’t factor pipeline safety or possible leaks into the decision under state law, it’s an awkward time for a perception problem to crop up.



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