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Keystone XL, TransCanada
Keystone XL oil pipeline pumping station in rural Nebraska. (Image: shannonpatrick17 via Flickr)

Nebraska’s new pipeline chief hired with stipulation

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s new top pipeline regulator has agreed to remove himself from working on TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline through the state if the company makes another attempt to do so.

Scott Coburn agreed to the requirement as a condition of his hiring by the Nebraska Public Service Commission on Tuesday. The commission voted 4-1 to make Coburn director of its division that regulates national gas and oil pipelines.

Coburn is a civil engineer who previously worked for TransCanada. The commission’s executive director says he’s confident in Coburn’s integrity.

Commissioner Crystal Rhoades says she gave the dissenting vote because she believes it appears as a conflict of interest.

Executive Director Jeff Pursley says he received about 10 complaints from those who opposed the hire. No public comments were offered regarding Coburn’s hiring at the meeting.

In related news, Nebraska approves new regulations for oil and gas industry.

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