Washington Post: Trans Canada Likely to Reapply for Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Friday
Read this report from the Washington Post, suggesting Trans Canada Pipelines will likely reapply for a permit for its controversial Keystone XL Pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to the US Gulf Coast. (May 3, 2012)
The Canadian firm behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will reapply as early as Friday for a federal permit to ship carbon-intense crude oil from Alberta to the United States, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.
In January, the Obama administration denied a permit for TransCanada, the firm hoping to build the project, on the grounds that a congressionally mandated deadline of Feb. 21 did not give officials enough time to evaluate the pipeline’s impact. Since then TransCanada has said it would proceed with plans to construct the segment running from Cushing, Okla., to Port Arthur, Tex., and unveiled a new route for the pipeline in Nebraska.
President Obama, environmentalists and many Nebraskans — including the state’s Republican governor Dave Heineman — had raised concerns that the project’s original Nebraska route could imperil the ecologically sensitive Sandhills region, as well as the Ogallala aquifer, a major source of drinking water for the state’s residents.
The move will revive one of the year’s most contentious political issues — which has divided the Democratic base between environmentalists and some unions, and has unified Republicans in support of what they view as a critical source of energy supply for the U.S. — just months before the November elections.
The new route TransCanada proposed in mid-April would steer clear of northwestern Nebraska’s Sandhills region, though it still runs over parts of the Ogallala aquifer. The state’s environmentalists argue that Nebraska officials have defined the Sandhills region too narrowly and say that the revised route will traverse the Sandhills in Nebraska’s northern Holt County.