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US State Department issues Presidential Permit to TransCanada for Keystone XL

The US Department of State has signed and issued a Presidential Permit to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline. The permit authorizes TransCanada to construct, to connect, to operate, and to maintain pipeline facilities at the US-Canadian border in Phillips County, Montana for the importation of crude oil.

In November 2016, then US Secretary of State John Kerry had rejected the controversial 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.) In January 2017, two days after newly inaugurated 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 did so.

The Department of State reviewed TransCanada’s application in accordance with Executive Order 13337 (30 April 2004) and the 24 January 2017 Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The permit was signed by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. (Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, formerly the CEO of ExxonMobil, had recused himself from decisions on the application.)

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 will cross the US border near Morgan, Montana and continue through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, where it will 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.

This is a significant milestone for the Keystone XL project. We greatly appreciate President Trump’s Administration for reviewing and approving this important initiative and we look forward to working with them as we continue to invest in and strengthen North America’s energy infrastructure.Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and CEO

The issuance of the Presidential Permit does not bring the issues surrounding the pipeline to close, but does advance the process. Additional state-level approvals are still required in Nebraska, where the pipeline would cross, and from other federal agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers. TransCanada said it will continue to engage key stakeholders and neighbors throughout Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota to obtain the necessary permits and approvals to advance this project to construction. Among these:

  • An application to the Bureau of Land Management for construction of the project on Federal Land.

  • An application to the Nebraska Public Service Commission in early 2017 for approval of its proposed routing in Nebraska. The proposed route will be essentially the route previously evaluated by the NDEQ in 2012 and approved by the Nebraska Governor in 2013 and included in the FSEIS review. Keystone expects the Nebraska alternative route selection process to be complete in 2017.

  • County and local permites in Montana and South Dakota.

In conjunction with the issuance of the permit, TransCanada has discontinued its claim under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which it brought after the Obama Administration rejected the pipeline, and will end its US Constitutional challenge.

The expected resurrection of the pipeline outraged environmental groups, which had campaigned for years to halt construction of the pipeline. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said that “This project has already been defeated, and it will be once again. The project faces a long fight ahead in the states.

Comments

SJC

There are people in Nebraska who don't want this mess.

DaveD

Trump is such a F'ing tool. Sigh. I just hope they can impeach him and his Russian posse before he does too much damage.

HarveyD

ICEVs will be around for another 40+ years and USA need a safe source of fossil fuel to be free of imports from unfriendly nations.

Alberta, with reserves of about 179 B barrels, can supply Canada and part of USA for 40+ years.

One more pipeline added to the current 200+ in USA will not be the end of the world.

Lad

Harvey:
The sad news here is not the pipe line so much as it enables the oil companies to continue to pollute all that Canadian land and to wipe out the resources that surround the area. In effect what they do is strip mine the land.

Look at this, how would you like to live near by? http://www.mining.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/canada-oks-three-new-oil-sands-projects.jpg

SJC

The XL will do for farmland aquifers what tar sands did to the Kalamazoo River, pollute it so badly it puts farmers out of business.

Account Deleted

We need this pipeline and many others to come. Transporting oil using rail and truck is the far more polluting/energy intensive alternative. The cost of transporting 1 barrel of oil 1000 miles is about 3 USD with a pipeline, 7 USD with rail and 15 USD with trucks. Most of that cost increase is for burning diesel. So we should use pipelines that are cheaper and pollute less. Tar sand is stone dead at 50 USD per barrel. No new project will be build. However, shale oil is booming at 50 USD per barrel. The shale revolution is bigger than most people understand. It will make the US an oil net exporting nation before 2020. We need that to happen for the free world to stop buying oil from islamofascist countries. The clash of civilizations is happening and it is accelerating. We need to prepare for more war because it is coming.

The biggest change will happen with self-driving cars that will make BEVs the only kind of vehicles in demand with gassers declining because they cost more to operate per taxi mile. Can’t wait for that to happen.

gorr

Dece4ase the price of gas at the pump and commercialise gasoline serial hybrid cars that do over 100 mpg. I wanted to write that in the autobloggreen website but since 3 weeks, the blog section is closed completely without any explanations.

ai_vin

ICEVs will be around for another 40+ years and USA need a safe source of fossil fuel to be free of imports from unfriendly nations.

Ah, but what about exports TO unfriendly nations? ;) As long as Trump is President America will be the "unfriendly"est nation of all.

Calgarygary

Ten years ago if you would have told someone that America could be self sufficient in oil by 2020 you would have been dismissed as a fool, however today that appears to be distinct possibility. I don't think anyone can safely predict what the energy situation will be like 10 years from now, however, I do believe that the forces of continuing concern for climate change and continued progress in development of renewable energy sources and energy storage and energy efficiency will work against future demand for oil. I'd expect peak demand will come sooner rather than later due to these forces.

On the other hand there is a possibility that young Barron's class science project that totally debunks the theory of climate change could receive wide acclaim and any need to limit CO2 emissions will be forgotten in the coming years.

SJC

You produce more and consume less, but endangering the farmland aquifers of 5 states is insane.

JMartin

This oil will do nothing but pollute Canada, the United States and then assure refiners in Texas a continued income. The corrosive oil from Canada is piped to Texas, refined, then the gasoline will be exported to South America. the US will get none of it, and really does not need it. The argument is that it will create jobs. Yeh, for people to build the pipeline, then for people to clean up the spills. Oh, and medical types to treat those impacted by the pollution.
The good news is that no matter what Trump pronounces, this pipeline may never get built. Oil sands are being abandoned by big oil companies because the oil is too expensive (Shell just sold its interest), and fracking in depressing prices for oil in the lower 48.

SJC

This IS the point, there is nothing in the XL for American but risk, no benefit what so ever. PT Barnum said "a sucker born every minute and two to take them".

Arnold

The people and organisations that promote this behaviour should be prepared to have it in their backyard.
Why should this be such a high prize political imperative?
There's money in trouble.

Arnold

Lad,
Where to start?
One could be forgiven for thinking it was posted by some activist group but the image you linked to

(http://www.mining.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/canada-oks-three-new-oil-sands-projects.jpg.)
on the industry news site

http://www.mining.com/

It shows just how diverse opinion can be.They are actually showing this as proof of good outcomes or at least that they are getting on with the job.

Knowing there are enough perverse and gullible investors who can look the other way and that we all are in some smaller way accepting in so far as we perceive some personal benefit is truly scary.

SJC

Imagine U.S. companies telling Canada we want to cross your land, rivers and lakes with a tar sands pipe, you will get nothing out of it except the mess and will make profits selling to Asia using your refineries. This would NEVER be allowed.

HarveyD

For all leftist posters, oil will be imported (from middle-East, Canada, Mexico, So-America and Africa) produce locally, transported in pipeline and consume in USA for the next 40+ years.

This has been going on for 100+ years and is not about to stop. Secondly, coal and NG will be used to produce essential electricity for another 40+ years.

BEVs and FCEVs will slowly and progressively replace most ICEVs but the switch will also take 40+ years.

SJC

Harvey,
We use LESS, that is the whole point of this web page.
It has nothing to do with "leftist" which you use like swearing.

HarveyD

I agree that another (100,000,000) 55-65 miles/gallon HEVs and as many 100-130 miles/gallon PHEVs (in USA) would consume a lot less liquid fuel. As many BEVs, will do even much better, whenever 3X and 4X affordable batteries reach the market place.

The switchover is progressively coming but may take another 40+ yeas.

Total petroleum product consumption is rather steady but should start going down (slowly) by 2020 or so.

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