Tuesday, November 15, 2011
TransCanada Alters Keystone XL Route To Speed Approval
The announcement comes several days after the State Department announced it would evaluate alternative routes to avoid the Nebraska Sand Hills, which includes a vital aquifer in the state. The decision to evaluate alternative routes will delay a final verdict on the project until after the 2012 election, a move that spares President Obama from political backlash.
TransCanada will work with the State Department and Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality to determine a new pipeline route. A new environmental review will be required as well, which the State Department said last week could take until early 2013. The move likely will not appease environmental groups, but it leaves the groups with less backing for opposition to the project.
Monday’s announcement could lessen opposition to the Keystone XL project in Nebraska. The state legislature is in midst of a special session to consider legislation to reroute the project. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R), for example, has said he isn’t opposed to the pipeline in theory, but objects to the route. Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who has also said he opposes the pipeline route, hailed the agreement Monday.
The Hill, 11/14/2011, The Hill, 11/14/2011)