Skip to comments.With Obama’s re-election, doubts remain about future of Keystone pipeline
Posted on 11/08/2012 7:24:14 AM PST by thackney
As Canadian political and business leaders expressed optimism the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will win approval under a re-elected President Barack Obama, environmental opponents and the U.S. ambassador to Canada cautioned the energy megaproject isnt a slam dunk.
Obamas Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, had vowed quick approval of the $7.6-billion pipeline if he had won Tuesdays presidential election.
But Obama, who earlier this year rejected TransCanada Corp.s initial application because it needed more environmental review, has remained noncommital about the fate of the line, which would ship Alberta oilsands product to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
In Ottawa, federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Wednesday the Conservative government would continue to advocate for the pipeline and expressed confidence it will get the nod from the president.
We believe that the Keystone XL will be approved by the Americans because it is clearly in the U.S. national interest in terms of national security, jobs (and) economic growth, Oliver told reporters.
Calgary-based TransCanada is also optimistic about Keystones prospects, company spokesman Grady Semmens said Wednesday.
It fits very well with President Obamas ... energy strategy. Even last night in his speech he was talking about a priority for him moving the U.S. away from its dependence on foreign oil. Thats what Keystone XLs all about, he said.
The project, designed to take 830,000 barrels of crude a day to Gulf Coast refineries, is seen as critical to boosting Canadas transportation capacity out of the oilsands as petroleum production ramps up north of Fort McMurray.
But the U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, said this week that speedy approval under Obama was not a certainty.
Im not going to pre-empt the presidents decision, Jacobson said on the eve of Obamas Tuesday victory.
This thing has got to move in an orderly fashion. But I think we need to keep Keystone in the proper context of what is the largest energy relationship between two countries in the world. ... It is not a huge part of that relationship.
To win regulatory approval south of the border, TransCanada has rerouted the pipeline away from Nebraskas sandhills and the Ogallala aquifer. Its original path through the environmentally sensitive areas had touched off huge controversy.
The new route is subject to approval by Nebraskas governor by the end of the year. TransCanada has been told it should expect a decision on Keystone XL from the Obama administration in the first quarter of 2013.
But the route of the pipeline was only one issue that set off opposition to Keystone. Environmental groups have blasted the project for spurring further exploitation of the carbon-intensive oilsands, which they say will dramatically increase greenhouse gas emissions.
Jim Murphy, senior counsel for the National Wildlife Federation, said the Keystone debate returns as hurricane Sandy has brought a renewed focus on extreme weather events and their relation to climate change.
Environmentalists are poised for a new campaign against Keystone, he said.
Were hopeful that President Obama is going to answer what we think is an increasing cry to address climate change and I think one of the first things he can and should do and were certainly going to call on him to do is to say no to this pipeline, said Murphy.
Every time the substance of this project gets intensely debated, I think it gets harder and harder for the administration to say yes.
But Keystone along with other projects such as the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to the British Columbia coast is of paramount importance for the energy industry and Alberta government.
Oilsands production is expected to double to more than 3.7 million barrels a day by 2025 and billions of dollars worth of expansion is planned. But that expansion hinges on finding new outlets to bring Alberta energy to market.
Increased market access is also key to easing the current price differential that exists for Alberta crude, which is costing the provincial treasury millions of dollars.
When you dont have access to market, it not only reduces the amount you can produce but the price you can get for it, Geoff Hill, oil and gas practice leader with consulting firm Deloitte, said Wednesday.
Provincial Energy Minister Ken Hughes said the situation remains the same as before the presidential election, but the Tory government can again lobby in support of Keystone.
What we have to do is assess the circumstances in the states and continue to advance Albertas interests in any way that we possibly can, he told reporters at the legislature. Watch us. We will be executing a game plan over time.
Semmens said TransCanada is also preparing to counter misinformation about its pipeline and will get out there and explain the facts of the project as we see them and its benefits.
Hill said nobody should assume Keystone is guaranteed, noting Obama has maintained a deliberate ambiguity around the issue.
The only time theres a guarantee is when its actually approved. And thats what makes investors nervous, he said.
Thats what makes companies nervous right now.
Keystone XL Pipeline Project
TransCanada is fully committed to the construction of the 1,897-km (1,179-mile) Keystone XL Pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska. We will re-apply for a Presidential Permit and expect a new application to be processed in an expedited manner, making use of the exhaustive record compiled over the past three plus years of regulatory review to allow for an in-service date of 2015. TransCanada anticipates approval of the Presidential Permit application - which is required as the pipeline will cross the Canada/U.S. border - in the first quarter of 2013, after which construction will quickly begin.
TransCanada continues to believe in the value of Keystone XL due to the overwhelming support the project has received from American and Canadian producers and U.S. refiners who signed 17 to 18 year contracts to ship over hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day to meet the needs of American consumers.
To learn more about the Keystone XL Pipeline, please click the project information tab and browse the links on the left hand side of the page. If you are a vendor please complete our vendor registration form, or if you are an individual looking for information about jobs please visit the careers section.
It’s dead, Jim...................
Oh sure, there will be expedited approval of Keystone XL. Just as soon as 0bama plants beer trees in my back yard.
When 0bama talked about “fundamentally transforming America,” what the communist meant was destroying the prosperous, independent, Republican-voting suburbs. We can’t have the sheep roaming the free range. They might get ideas, and as Stalin said, “Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don’t let people have guns, why should we let them have ideas?” Thus, the sheep have to be herded into the corral of the big cities, where they will be poor, dependent, and reliably democrat.
Cheap energy is what makes suburban living possible. Eliminate it, and you herd the sheep.
Apparently Mr. Oliver hasn't vetted Zer0.
That exactly why Zer0 will reject it.
Mr Oliver obviously hasn't studied Saul Alinsky very carefully.Building this pipeline would create jobs...lots of jobs...in this country.In paving the way for "President Michelle" Osama Obama can't allow folks to believe that they actually don't need to look to government for their very survival.
Did Canada vote on statehood?
I agree with you. No Keystone XL approval, especially since it helps US growth and national security. I’m always surprised that the original Keystone pipeline was allowed to be laid down. It was kind of sneaked in quietly.
Wow, couldn’t have said it better myself. I am sincerely down in the dumps today. I couldn’t watch the election last night have refused to watch any news since. I am really disappointed in the American electorate. They are either evil or stupid or both. And don’t get me wrong, I am from the interior of B.C. and we are Conservative but the Vancouver area and such are so liberal that it stinks. I want to bury my head right now. CO
PM Stephen Harper is not known for his sense of humour, nor is he a gambler. In other words, he doesn’t bluff. We have so much oil out there and it has to go somewhere. The pipeline either goes south to the U.S. or west, to ports for eventual export to China. But there will be a pipeline. No kidding.
The same can be said about Ontario- largely conservative, especially in the southwest, but here in Toronto I feel like I’m living in Bizarro World.