Madison County Keeping Eye on KXL’s Next Step

MADISON – The new approved route for the Keystone XL pipeline has the attention of Madison County officials.

The main alternative route rubber-stamped by the Nebraska Public Service Commission runs farther east, angling near Battle Creek as it makes its way through Madison County.

The Madison County Commissioners were asked about the pipeline at their meeting this week, and said they’re keeping a watchful eye on what happens next.

“It could be a great thing for Madison County,” said Commissioner Ron Schmidt. “But we have to look at where it’s going to go through. How does it affect our roads? How does it affect people in the county? We can’t just say ‘Come on in and go wherever you want to.’”

Schmidt said very little is known about the impact the decision will have, but added that they want to have a say in how any project moves through their county.

“We definitely want to have a hands-on [approach] as much as we can,” Schimdt said. “But in the long run, I think it’s really a good deal.”

Whether the pipeline will even make its way to Madison County is still very much in the air. Both Transcanada and opponents of KXL have asked the PSC to reconsider their decision on the pipeline’s route.

Transcanada officials said earlier this week they’re still assessing what the ruling will mean for the project going forward.