The U.S. State Department has rejected TransCanada’s request to suspend the review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Instead, the administration will move forward with its decision-making process as planned, and could issue a final determination as soon as this week. TransCanada asked for the pause earlier this week in an effort to delay the federal government’s decision until after the company could secure approval in Nebraska and, most likely, until a new presidential administration began. Unless TransCanada withdraws its application entirely, the State Department will continue the review, which is now in its seventh year.
On Tuesday of this week, White House officials hinted that President Obama would continue the review, rather than allow it to be suspended until a new candidate moves into the Oval Office. Many believe this move is an indication that the application will be denied, shutting down TransCanada’s activities. Already, the company has stockpiled pipe segments and mowed thousands of acres of land in preparation for construction of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline which would move 830,000 barrels of crude oil each day between terminals in Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City, Nebraska.
In response to the State Department’s decision, TransCanada released a statement saying it respected the position but would continue to work to move the project forward. “We will continue to focus on building a pipeline that will put 2,200 Canadian construction workers and 9,000 in the United States to work, not to mention tens of thousands more on the full value chain that the State Department itself identified in its review,” the statement said.
Environmental groups applauded the decision, hoping that the controversy will soon come to an end after seven long and expensive years of hard work.
Via Washington Post
Images via Shutterstock and TransCanada