Keystone XL Pipeline is now a go after State Department clears the way

The Keystone XL Pipeline is now a go after being in limbo for years

TransCanada Corp.  announced that the U.S. Department of State has signed and issued a Presidential Permit to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline. President Donald Trump, will speak to the press about the Keystone XL Pipeline, something he wanted to get started as soon as possible.

Reviving a big oil project which environmentalists had hoped was dead and buried, the Trump administration plans to announce Friday that it has issued a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The project, which would ship 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada’s tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries, had been rejected by the Obama administration last year, a move heralded by climate activists. The rejection came just before the former president signed an international agreement on global warming in Paris.

But Trump vowed to undo the previous administration’s work on climate change. He announced soon after taking office that he would seek to restart the pipeline project, a clear signal that he would move aggressively to promote oil development.

The Keystone Pipeline is owned by Calgary-based TransCanada. Phase 1 of the pipeline began operating in 2010 and had the capacity to move 590,000 barrels per day (BPD) of crude oil from the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta to hubs and refineries in the US. In 2011, Phase 2 of Keystone connected Steele City, Nebraska to the major oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.

Phase 3 connected the Cushing hub to Gulf Coast refineries with a capacity of 700,000 BPD and began operating in January 2014. Phase 3 was the project that President Obama famously endorsed from the campaign trail in 2012, promising to “cut through the red tape” and to expedite the project. (President Obama’s approval was not required for that leg of the project).

The Phase 4 expansion of the Keystone Pipeline is the one the world came to know as the Keystone XL (“XL” stands for export limited.) Like Phase 1, this expansion would add pipeline from Alberta and cross the US-Canadian border. The pipeline would have a capacity of up to 830,000 BPD and terminate in Steele City, Nebraska. Because the proposed route would cross the international border, the State Department was required to determine that the project was in the national interest to grant a permit (as the agency did with Phase 1).

There is plenty more to come to over the next year on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

OPEC meets this weekend in Kuwait, and are expected to extend the deal beyond its June end.

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.