The fate of the 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline was not decided last week when President Obama rejected a permit for its construction. Instead, proponents have declared, the fight has just begun. The war of words surrounding the pipeline is continuing on the campaign trail and some House Republicans have vowed to seek new legislation to clear the path for the controversial pipeline. Environmentalists say they will fight not only new Keystone proposals but also other major oil pipelines that would carry crude from Canada’s oil sands region.
In the meantime, TransCanada, which proposed the pipeline, said it will consider a truncated system within U.S. borders. That system would not need State Department approval. The pipeline could serve the growing output from the Bakken shale oil fields in Montana, ease the bottleneck of crude oil at the major terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma, and later hook up with cross-border lines.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford points out there is a regulatory process in place, and we have to respect that process. The good news is that the President said he wasn’t making a decision on the merits of the project. It does allow for reapplication. TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha says, at the end of the day, we’re interested in building a pipeline that will move additional crude oil into the U.S. Gulf Coast.