State Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha introduced legislation on Tuesday to require due process for the taking of private property for private oil pipeline construction in Nebraska rather than any use of eminent domain.
The bill (LB1017) also would require periodic payments to landowners for the use of their land along with a decommissioning plan that provides for removal of the pipeline at the end of its useful life and restoration of property to its original state.
Periodic payments represent a leasing process rather than an easement arrangement.
LB1017 would require any applicant to post a construction and performance bond of at least $100 million.
"This is a discussion we need to have," Krist said
The new requirements, which Krist said have "the support of the Sierra Club and other folks," would have a direct impact on the process that TransCanada would need to navigate if it moves ahead with plans to construct the proposed Keystone XL pipeline through the state.
The proposal states that both the Nebraska State Constitution and the U.S. Constitution provide that "private property cannot be taken without due process and that such taking must be for a public use with just compensation."
Last November, the Nebraska Public Service Commission approved TransCanada's controversial pipeline, but not the route through Nebraska the company wanted to follow.
Instead, the commission approved an alternative route.
TransCanada has been contacting landowners along the new route without yet making a public decision as to whether it wants to proceed with construction of the oil pipeline through Nebraska.
The Nebraska project would connect a pipeline that begins in Alberta to an existing pipeline that extends to the U.S. Gulf Coast.