Keystone XL pipeline developer aid GOP candidates in Nebraska

Protesters against the Keystone XL pipeline March in Lincoln, Neb., Aug. 6, 2017.

(Associated Press)

Republican candidates in Nebraska, received a financial boost from the developer of the Keystone XL pipeline trying to secure the approval for the $8 billion project.

A political action committee for the Trans-Canada Inc., the first proposed the pipeline in July 2008, donated more than $65,000 to campaign within the last year, especially in Republican state lawmakers, according to an Associated Press review of campaign disclosure records.

Filings with the Nebraska accountability and disclosure Commission show TransCanada gave $ 25,000 to Gov. Pete Ricketts’ re-election campaign, $15,000 to Nebraska Republican party and $25,500 to state legislators.

Nebraska Republican party Executive Director Kenny Zoeller said TransCanada from the party donations as a sponsor for the state GOP events, including the recognition dinner for state senators and local volunteers. The state has been agreed to by party decisions in the past voicing formal support for the Keystone XL, he said.

TransCanada spending in Nebraska is high in comparison to many companies lobby officials, said Jack Gould, issues Chairman for Common Cause Nebraska, a political watchdog group.

However, TransCanada spokesman Matthew John defended the contributions.

“We participate in an open and transparent political process and will continue to support elected officials and the public policies that promote the safe and environmentally sound development of the North American energy infrastructure,” he said.

The Keystone XL pipeline would transport up to 830 000 barrels per day of Canadian crude oil through Montana and South Dakota, Nebraska.

The pipeline faces intense opposition from environmental groups, Native American tribes and some of the land owners along the route. those who worry about its long-term impact on groundwater and property rights.

Pipeline opponents say that the contributions of the company, is trying to show influence on the state’s top elected officials at the expense of the land owners, who do not want the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline running through their property.

“There is no question that large political donations, some politicians have bought,” said Jane Kleeb, President of Bold Alliance, a group that has worked to recruit and support candidates who openly oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.

Kleeb, said to have been held, the activists, the project for a decade, although in terms of financial.

In addition to the campaign contributions, TransCanada has previously reported, spending more than $1.2 million on lobbying in Nebraska between 2006 and mid-2017.

Landowners in Nebraska have filed a lawsuit, the challenge to the Nebraska Public Service Commission is to approve the decision, which is a route through the state.

In a separate legal challenge, Montana, landowners and environmental groups, a Federal-looking suit, for the overthrow of President Donald Trump, the decision to grant a presidential permit for the project.

Last week, Trump administration lawyers, the pipeline is defending in federal court.

The Associated Press contrbuted to this report.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and a reporter for Fox News.

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