Judge Strikes Down Nebraska Law Allowing Keystone XL

The decision could further delay construction of the controversial oil pipeline

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A Nebraska judge issued a decision Wednesday that strikes down a law allowing the Keystone XL oil pipeline to pass through the state.

Judge Stephanie Stacy’s ruling invalidates the January 2013 decision made by Governor Dave Heineman, whose office approved the route, the Associated Press reports. Instead, she said, the decision should have been made by the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

The decision is a rare win for opponents of the $7 billion pipeline, which will transport particularly dirty oil from Canada through the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. While the U.S. State Department has not objected to building the pipeline on environmental grounds, opponents claim that the Keystone XL could pollute water and taint soil in areas it traverses.