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Nebraska approves plan for Keystone pipeline expansion

22 Novembre 2017

The Keystone Pipeline system transfers crude oil via a 2,600-mile route from Alberta, Canada, east into Manitoba, Canada, and then south across the USA border to Texas, parent company TransCanada said. President Donald Trump vowed to reverse that determination and, in January, invited the company to reapply.

TransCanada disputed that assertion, telling the commission its preferred route was selected because it would minimize disruption to "sensitive environmental resources" and avoided the state's landmark Sandhills region.

The existing Keystone pipeline system connects the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to USA refineries in Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. Opponents say they'll challenge the Nebraska Commission's decision in court.

Nebraska regulators have given the green light to the 8 (B) Billion-dollar Keystone XL oil pipeline. Bloomberg Gadfly points out that there is a shortage of pipeline capacity from Canada equivalent to about 330,000 bpd this year, a deficit that will balloon to 700,000 bpd by 2019 as more oil sands projects come online at a time when all major pipeline projects have suffered from serious delays.

"The pipeline will neither load nor unload products for Nebraskans", Domina said in a post-hearing submission, adding that the project's alleged economic effect on jobs and taxes within the state are overstated.

Brett Harris, a spokesman for Calgary-based Cenovus Energy Inc., a committed oil-sands shipper on the proposed pipeline, said the approval "is in the best interest of the industry, best interest of Canada and the best interest of the U.S.as well".

"(G) reen groups can be comforted by the State Department's 2014 Keystone XL study, which showed the pipeline will have no significant impact on whether Canadian bitumen is extracted or not, nor on global emissions", the Institute for Energy Research said.

While oil market dynamics have changed dramatically over the course of the near-decade since Keystone XL was first proposed, Kvisle believes the project is still important. The third and last option for Alberta is Keystone XL. This route, the company had argued was essential to completing the Keystone XL. The ruling likely doesn't end the legal battles over the project. In a November call with investors, though, Girling suggested that the outlook was positive.

It's not the route TransCanada wanted but it's still a victory for the company as it clears the final big regulatory hurdle to getting the pipeline built. "It's just the latest installment in an ongoing story".

She expressed scepticism about the pipeline's touted economic gains, along with concerns that some landowners were not properly informed of the alternative route's path through their property. Concern about the environment is very real and it's persistent.

Nebraska regulators said use of the alternative route would limit the impact of the pipeline on numerous threatened and endangered species, including the endangered whooping crane habitat.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission, an elected panel that includes one Democrat and four Republican representatives, announced the decision to allow the underground pipeline to pass through the state on November 20.

Rhoades said the commission erred in choosing an under-studied route that was never in serious contention.

The approval of an alternative route "opens up a huge victory for us in order to fight this now on the federal level", she added.

Meanwhile, a State Department spokesperson told Politico on Monday that officials are looking at whether a new review process is needed.

TransCanada's (TSX:TRP) CEO Russ Girling said in a statement that the company was evaluating the decision.

Nebraska approves plan for Keystone pipeline expansion