TransCanada files new application for permit to build Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Nebraska

The Canadian pipeline company wants the U.S. State Department to rely on research gathered for its previous application, but environmental groups want the review process to start from scratch.
by Chris Casteel Published: May 5, 2012
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The proposed pipeline would carry tar sands crude from Alberta and also pick up crude being produced in the Bakken Shale in North Dakota by companies such as Oklahoma City's Continental Resources.

According to TransCanada, the pipeline will be able to move 830,000 barrels per day to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Controversy

delays decision

President Barack Obama late last year delayed a decision on the pipeline because of the controversy over Nebraska. The delay angered congressional Republicans, who used a payroll tax bill to force the administration to make a decision; Obama announced in January that the permit couldn't be approved because there was no settled route.

The southern portion from Oklahoma

TransCanada has announced that it would proceed this summer in building the southern part of the pipeline, which will carry crude from the oil storage supply hub in Cushing to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Obama visited Cushing in March to say his administration would expedite the approval of permits for the southern portion.

Erich Pica, president of the group Friends of the Earth, said Friday that an Environmental Protection Agency official had determined late last year that the southern portion of the pipeline didn't qualify for the type of approval TransCanada was seeking.

“In March, President Barack Obama unconscionably stood in front of piles of TransCanada pipe and gave his blessing to expedite the southern segment,” Pica said.

“Pandering to the oil industry and political headwinds with a pro-pipeline photo op is one thing, but encouraging his federal agencies to ram through a project that would ignite catastrophic climate change and leaves Americans on the hook to clean up Big Oil's mess is another matter.”

But Girling, TransCanada's president and CEO, said the environmental review completed last summer concluded that the Keystone XL would be the safest pipeline of its kind in the United States.

“The multibillion dollar Keystone XL pipeline project will reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oil and support job growth,” Girling said.


by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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The multibillion dollar Keystone XL pipeline project will reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oil and support job growth by putting thousands of Americans to work.”

Russ Girling

TransCanada's president and chief executive officer

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