Keystone XL crude oil pipeline moves forward

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The US Department of State has issued the final environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, moving the oil line forward.

The State Department has found that the proposed pipeline that would transport oil from Canada to refineries in Texas would not cause significant environmental problems during its construction or operation.

TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) (TSX:TRP) first applied to build the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline in 2008. The $7 billion crude oil pipeline will link Canadian production with delivery points in Oklahoma and Texas, transporting up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day.

“After a long and careful review, the State Department has found that there are no environmental reasons to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring American consumers a sure and steady supply of oil from our close friend and neighbor Canada,” said Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA). “It’s in America’s economic and national security interest for the State Department to now take the next step and allow this critically important pipeline to be built, providing needed jobs, tax revenue and abundant and reliable energy for the American people.”

Dependent on receiving the necessary approvals and permits, the Keystone XL pipeline is scheduled to come online in 2013.

The American Petroleum Institute welcomed the State Department’s final EIS, pointing out that the project will bring thousands of new jobs to the United States.

"The nation's quintessential shovel-ready project is a step closer to reality," said API Refining Manager Cindy Schild. "That's good news for tens of thousands of Americans who stand to find new jobs when this pipeline project is finally approved. If the State Department gives the final okay, hiring could begin immediately in hundreds of American companies in the Midwest and across the country."

API also contends that the Keystone XL pipeline will help to strengthen national energy security.

"The President should support our biggest trading partner and number one importer of oil. More energy from a friendly ally makes sense," said Schild. "We need this critical project because more jobs and a move to secure energy equal a stronger economy."

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