The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has signed off on part of the Keystone XL pipeline's southern route, which would carry oil from Cushing to Texas' Gulf Coast.
Approval from the Galveston District is the first of three needed for the 485-mile pipeline, developer TransCanada said.
The project also must be OK'd by engineers in Tulsa and Fort Worth before it can proceed.
“We continue to believe that we will be in a position to begin construction later this summer and are working with the corps and others to secure the approvals and permits we require,” the company said Tuesday. “Once the Gulf Coast Project is completed, it will help move both Canadian and American oil to refineries on the Gulf Coast, where it is critically needed. It will help remove the bottleneck that currently exists in Cushing, which is impacting American producers.
“It will improve American energy security and allow refiners to access cheaper sources of oil to make products we rely on to maintain our quality of life.”
TransCanada is working on its Gulf Coast project as it awaits federal approval for Keystone XL, a more ambitious plan to build a cross-border 1,700-mile pipeline to carry oil from Canada to Texas refineries.
The proposal was rejected by the Obama administration in January after Republican lawmakers imposed a deadline on the decision, but TransCanada has filed a new permit application after rerouting the line to avoid an environmentally sensitive area of Nebraska.