Keystone XL pipeline hearing before state regulators begins

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The Public Utilities Commission is considering whether to approve for the second time in just over five years construction of the South Dakota portion of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The hearing process started Monday. The state authorized TransCanada Corp.’s project in 2010, but permits must be revisited if construction doesn’t start within four years.

The commission is now considering the company’s guarantee that it can complete the project while meeting the conditions of the 2010 approval.

It’s unlikely the panel will make a decision immediately.

Supporters say the pipeline will create jobs and tax revenues, while opponents argue it could contaminate water supplies and contribute to pollution.

The pipeline would transport oil from Canada to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines headed to the Gulf Coast.

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