The Keystone XL pipeline maker has asked the US government to put its review of the controversial project on hold.
TransCanada says the pause is necessary while it negotiates with Nebraska over the pipeline’s route through the state.
The move came as a surprise as TransCanada executives have pushed hard to get approval.
Environmental groups oppose the 1,179-mile pipeline, saying it will increase greenhouse gas emissions.
President Barack Obama is expected to reject the project, which has also been undermined by falling oil prices.
On November 2, the White House indicated that it would rule on the project before the end of Barack Obama’s term in office in January 2017.
However, a delay to the government review might leave a decision in the hands of President Barack Obama’s successor in the White House.
In February 2015, the newly Republican-led Congress voted to begin construction immediately, but Barack Obama vetoed the bill, saying it undermined the necessary review process.
“Our expectation at this point is that the president will make a decision before the end of his administration on the Keystone pipeline, but when exactly that will be, I don’t know at this point,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on November 2.
In a statement, TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said: “We are asking [the] State [Department] to pause its review of Keystone XL based on the fact that we have applied to the Nebraska Public Service Commission for approval of its preferred route in the state.”
The Keystone XL pipeline would run from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it could join an existing pipeline.
It could carry 830,000 barrels of oil each day, and provide access to international markets.
Many of North America’s oil refineries are based in the Gulf Coast, and industry groups on both sides of the border want to benefit.
However, environmentalists say the Keystone XL pipeline would boost the emission of greenhouse gases and local community groups are concerned about accidents and pollution.
Oklahoma and Nebraska have asked the US Supreme Court to nullify a 2012 law that made marijuana legal in Colorado.
The two states allege that Colorado’s law is in violation of federal law.
They say that they are suing just Colorado, and not Washington state where marijuana is also legal, because they do not share a border with Washington.
Colorado’s attorney general said their suit was without merit.
“Federal law undisputedly prohibits the production and sale of marijuana,” said Nebraska attorney general Jon Bruning in a press release.
“Colorado has undermined the United States Constitution, and I hope the US Supreme Court will uphold our constitutional principles.”
Colorado’s attorney general John Suthers said in a statement that the state had been expecting legal action after Nebraska and Oklahoma complained about marijuana grown in Colorado coming into their states.
He said he would vigorously defend Colorado’s law as “it appears the plaintiffs’ primary grievance stems from non-enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana, as opposed to choices made by the voters of Colorado”.
Colorado’s citizens voted to legalize marijuana in 2012, and earlier this year the state became the first in the US to offer marijuana for sale for recreational use.
Already, Colorado has collected $7 million in taxes from marijuana sales, adding a valuable revenue stream to the state’s coffers.
Washington state passed a similar measure in 2012, but marijuana only went on sale for recreational use there in 2014.
Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia recently voted to legalize marijuana in November.
Industry trade groups criticized the legal action.
“Colorado has created a comprehensive and robust regulatory program for the sale of marijuana in Colorado,” said Mike Elliott, the director of the Marijuana Industry Group.
“If Nebraska and Oklahoma succeed, they will put the violent criminal organizations back in charge.”
Martin Salia, surgeon from Sierra Leone, who is critically ill with Ebola, has arrived in the US for treatment.
Dr. Martin Salia, who has US residency and is married to an American citizen, has been taken to a hospital in Nebraska.
Meanwhile France has advised its citizens not to travel to parts of Mali, following the deaths of three people there from the disease.
More than 5,000 people have been killed in the current Ebola outbreak – almost all of them in West Africa.
Sierra Leone is one of the three worst affected countries, along with Liberia and Guinea.
Dr. Martin Salia, 44, had been working as a general surgeon at Kissy United Methodist Hospital in the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown.
It is not clear whether he was involved in the care of Ebola patients.
The doctor, a Sierra Leone citizen who lives in the US state of Maryland, tested positive for the virus on November 10.
After being deemed stable enough to fly, he arrived in Omaha on Saturday afternoon, November 15, and was transferred to an isolation unit at the Nebraska Medical Center.
“Information coming from the team caring for him in Sierra Leone indicates he is critically ill – possibly sicker than the first patients successfully treated in the United States,” the Nebraska hospital said in a statement.
Dr. Martin Salia is the 10th person treated for Ebola in the US. All but one – a Liberian man named Thomas Eric Duncan – have recovered.
A multiple-day severe weather outbreak will begin this weekend over the South Central states and will include the potential for nighttime tornadoes in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
A storm will move slowly across the US over the next seven to 10 days. The storm will affect Southern California with locally drenching rain and mountain snow on Friday. Its next stop will be the Central states this weekend.
While the central and southern Plains are in need of rain, it will come with the price tag of violent storms.
Since the parent storm will not arrive on the scene until late in the day Saturday, most storms are not forecast to ignite until the late-day and nighttime hours.
A multiple-day severe weather outbreak will begin this weekend over the South Central states and will include the potential for nighttime tornadoes (photo AccuWeather)
Major cities at risk for severe weather this weekend include Dallas, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Kansas, Omaha, Nebraska, and Kansas City, Missouri.
Because the storms will be passing through large metropolitan areas, the storms have the potential to bring extensive damage, risk to a great number of lives and significant travel disruptions.
According to AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Storm Warning Meteorologist Scott Breit, “Supercell thunderstorms will develop along the dry line from west-central Kansas to the Oklahoma Panhandle and northwestern Texas late Saturday afternoon with large hail and tornadoes a good bet.”
A dry line marks the boundary between desert air to the west and moist Gulf of Mexico air to the east. A supercell thunderstorm is a long-lived, intense storm that often develops rotation and has an elevated risk of producing tornadoes, damaging winds gusts, frequent lightning strikes and very large hail.
Aiding the development of severe thunderstorms will be a surge of warm, humid air on Saturday.
The threat for violent storms, including a few supercells, will continue to push eastward Saturday night across rural and populated areas of central Kansas, central Nebraska, central Oklahoma and central Texas.
The storms are likely to shift to the east of Oklahoma City in time for the Memorial Marathon Sunday morning. However, if the storms are slower to leave than expected, or damage occurred from the night before, a delayed start cannot be ruled-out.
Because many of the most violent storms will continue after dark, there is an elevated danger factor. People may not see that a tornado is approaching their location.
Anyone traveling through the area or spending time outdoors will want to keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions.
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