An attorney for three landowners who are challenging a state law that would allow a proposed oil pipeline through Nebraska says the law unconstitutionally gives the governor authority to decide which private company can be given the power to condemn Nebraska land.
Attorney David Domina also argued in the trial Friday in Lincoln that jurisdiction to regulate oil pipelines belongs to independent regulatory body Nebraska Public Service Commission, not the governor.
Domina represents three Nebraska landowners suing state officials over the law. The landowners hope to block Canadian oil company TransCanada from building the Keystone XL oil pipeline in Nebraska.
Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Kate Spohn countered Friday that the Legislature can pass laws to limit the Public Service Commission's authority.
In June, a Lancaster County District judge rejected a motion by state officials to dismiss the lawsuit. Those who favor the pipeline have cited the nation's need for more oil and praised its potential economic impact.