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Keystone XL dealt another setback

The Keystone XL pipeline has been dealt yet another setback — this time in a Nebraska courtroom.

A district court has torn up a state law that could have been used to force landowners to allow the pipeline on their property.

That means that even if the Obama administration approves the pipeline — which is not certain, either — the project remains far from a slam-dunk.

The court has declared as unconstitutional a state law that gave Nebraska's governor the power to push the project through private land.

Now, unless the law is reinstated by a higher court, Calgary-based pipeline builder TransCanada Corp. might be forced to seek permission from every last landowner on the route.

As it stands, the company has settled with landowners in five of six states, and with more than two-thirds of those in Nebraska. But a minority have been pushing back, despite skyrocketing offers of compensation.

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