Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Keystone XL Pipeline - Transcanada Submits Proposal for New Nebraska Route

After being intially rejected due to the sensitive sandhills area in Nebraska, TransCanada Corp has submitted a new proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline to Nebraska environmental officials.  The pipeline requires a presidential permit since it crosses international borders.  The pipeline would carry crude oil from the Alberta Oilsands to Port Arthur, Texas.

There is presently a bottleneck in Cushing, Oklahoma and Transcanada has decided to go ahead with the southern portion of the  line from Cushing to the Texas refineries.  No presidential permit is required for that portion of the line.  President Obama has said that he supports the southern line.

Details of the new route through Nebraska have not been made available, but apparently TransCanada submitted several alternate routes in addition to the preferred route.

The XL Keystone pipeline has become political football between Republicans and Democrats, especially in view of high pump prices.  Today the House of Representatives passed a transportation funding bill that included an authorization of the XL Keystone pipeline by a vote of  293 - 127.  Prior to the president rejection of the line beyond the 2012 election, environmentalist protested at the White House for weeks.  The President has been accused of making a political decision to appease his left base.  The President claims it was rejected because there was not enough time for a fair review before a looming deadline forced on him by congressional Republicans.

After today's house vote, the Obama Administration vowed to veto the pipeline project, arguing that  such a requirement would bypass long-standing practices on how to approve cross-border pipelines.

The State Department, which is responsible for approving the new route said it had not received the new proposal yet.

Don't expect this project to go anywhere until after the election.

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