It may be approved, but analysts skeptical Keystone XL will be built
- Author: Zachary Reyes Mar 29, 2017,
Mar 29, 2017, 17:28
"Hopefully within the next year, we'll be able to put people to work", he said, assuring that the company would look to buy American materials for the project and put Americans to work.
Two years ago, then-President Barack Obama rejected the pipeline after the State Department determined it was contrary to USA interests.
Business and political leaders lauded the US government's approval of the much-anticipated Keystone XL pipeline.
"And I think there's still a contingent of special interest groups which are going to weigh in on the whole project, so it's certainly not a foregone conclusion that this thing will be built". Calgary-based TransCanada has promised as many as 13,000 construction jobs - 6,500 a year over two years - but the State Department previously estimated a far smaller number. In a 2014 report, the State Department projected the pipeline would support 3,900 in construction jobs.
"In any case, Keystone won't be built - approval or no - unless shippers sign up to underwrite the cost", he said. Obama vetoed a bill supporting the pipeline in 2015 and eventually passed it over to the State Department for review.
Native American tribes, some landowners and environmental groups oppose the pipeline, fearing it would contaminate water supplies and contribute to pollution.
But Kenny Bruno, an anti-tar-sands campaigner, said the battle will go on, noting that experts once predicted that the pipeline would be completed years ago.
The Obama administration had blocked the pipeline linking Canadian oil sands to USA refiners, claiming it would do nothing to cut fuel prices for U.S. motorists and would contribute to emissions linked to global warming.
The Keystone Pipeline approval is here.
It is also a good example of crony capitalism, Hartl claimed, in the sense that this pipeline, by its design, is not really going to help USA consumers and is not going to create that many jobs. However, in this case, the file was officially handled by undersecretary Tom Shannon because his boss, former oil executive Rex Tillerson, recused himself from the decision.
The 1,700-mile pipeline, as envisioned, would carry oil from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
The Trump administration has dropped fighting climate change as a priority and left open the possibility of pulling out of the Paris deal.
"Monday is the deadline, so that's what we're working towards", Cunha said.
The project may face resistance from the hundreds of potentially affected landowners on the pipeline's route. But he said there are other important projects like the recently approved TransMountain pipeline that will allow for exports to Asia.
Keystone proponents say the project will create more than 10,000 construction jobs, but only 50 would be permanent.
The company resubmitted its application for the project in January, after Trump signed the executive order smoothing its path.