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TransCanada re-applies for Keystone XL Presidential Permit; Trump wants permitting determination in 60 days

Two days after President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum inviting TransCanada to “promptly re-submit its application to the Department of State for a Presidential permit for the construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” the company has done so.

In the memorandum, Trump directed the Secretary of State (former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is Trump’s nominee) to “reach a final permitting determination, including a final decision as to any conditions on issuance of the permit that are necessary or appropriate to serve the national interest, within 60 days of TransCanada’s submission of the permit application.

The new Administration will rely upon the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Department of State in January 2014 regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline (Final Supplemental EIS) for the decision. (Earlier post.)

In November 2016, then US Secretary of State John Kerry rejected Keystone XL, citing combatting climate change as the critical factor. Kerry noted at that time that the arguments pro and con had been “overstated”. (Earlier post.)

The proposed Keystone XL project consists of a 875-mile (1,408 km) pipeline and related facilities to transport up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Alberta, Canada and the Bakken Shale Formation in Montana. The pipeline would cross the US border near Morgan, Montana and continue through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, where it would connect to existing pipeline facilities near Steele City, Nebraska for onward delivery to Cushing, Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast Area.

Keystone’s first application for the Keystone XL pipeline was submitted on 19 September 2008, and a Final EIS was published on 26 August 2011.

Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and CEO, is emphasizing jobs and the economic benefits of the pipeline.

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