By March 23, 2017 Read More →

Keystone XL pipeline permit to be approved by State Department: Politico

Keystone XL

President Donald Trump signs the Presidential memoranda to advance the construction of the Keystone XL soon after taking office.

Keystone XL to transport crude from Alberta oilsands

Between now and early next week, the US State Department is expected to green light the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, according to a report by Politico.

The Alberta oilsands to U.S. pipeline was blocked by former President Barack Obama in 2015.  He argued the pipeline would do nothing to cut gasoline prices or create many lasting jobs and would ultimately contribute emissions linked to global warming.

Should the permit be approved by the Trump administration, a lengthy and complicated process would begin involving state regulators and multiple legal challenges.

Just after his inauguration, President Trump asked for TransCanada to resubmit its application for the multi-billion dollar project which was first proposed in 2008.

Politico reports that Tom Shannon, the State Department’s undersecretary for political affairs, will approve the cross-border permit on or before Monday for the project.

Monday is the final day in the 60-day timeline the president ordered soon after taking office in January, when he called for construction of Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines.

TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha said “We’re still working with the State Department, and Monday is the deadline, so that’s what we’re working toward.”

An official with the State Department said there was no decision to announce on Keystone and a White House official did not immediately comment.

The project, which hooks into an existing pipeline network in Nebraska, would transport over 800,000 barrels per day of heavy crude from Alberta’s oilsands to US refineries and ports along the Gulf of Mexico.

Proponents of the pipeline are looking for a quick approval.  Nick Loris of the Heritage Foundation told Reuters approval would “reestablish some certainty and sanity to a permitting process that was hijacked by political pandering.”

Environmental group Greenpeace had pushed for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon, to recuse himself from a decision on Keystone XL.  The group argued Exxon could profit from the pipeline.

Tillerson has recused himself.

“We will resist these projects with our allies across the country and across borders, and we will continue to build the future the world wants to see,” Diana Best, a Greenpeace climate campaign specialist told Reuters.

TransCanada must also file its pipeline route plans with convince Nebraska regulators, which will hold public hearings on the proposal.



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