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Keystone XL pipeline approved in Nebraska, but more legal challenges await

In this image, protestors hold a banner that reads "water is life" in front of the White House.
Demonstrators during the Native Nations Rise protest on March 10, 2017. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The Keystone XL pipeline was approved to run through Nebraska on Friday, as the project faces a federal lawsuit in Montana and landowners refuse to approve easements, the New York Times reports.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Amy Harder: The political relevance of this project has taken on a life far larger than its actual impact. Expect this to be a focus in the 2020 presidential general election, given it's a clear differentiator between President Trump and all the Democratic candidates.

Where it stands: "Protesters, including from Native American tribes in Nebraska and South Dakota, have promised to mobilize if construction begins," per the Times. The pipeline, delayed by former President Obama after it was proposed in 2008, would transport crude oil from Canada to southern Nebraska.

Go deeper: Judge blocks construction of controversial Keystone XL pipeline