Keystone “too important not to proceed” TransCanada CEO says

Energy Environment Politics

622-tc_logo-thumb-110x27-621.jpgThe CEO of TransCanada,  Russ Girling, reacting to news that the US State Dept. has delayed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline said Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, “This project is too important to the U.S. economy, the Canadian economy and the national interest of the United States for it not to proceed.”

While Girling also said, “”We remain confident Keystone XL will ultimately be approved,” but the news release from TransCanada also acknowledged:

… while Keystone XL remains the best option for American and Canadian producers to get their oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast, today’s announcement by the DOS could have potential negative ramifications, especially where shippers and U.S. refiners are concerned.

“Supplies of heavy crude from Venezuela and Mexico to U.S. refineries will soon end,” said Girling. “If Keystone XL is continually delayed, these refiners may have to look for other ways of getting the oil they need. Oil sands producers face the same dilemma – how to get their crude oil to the Gulf Coast.”

In the release, TransCanada says the company will be discussing its next steps with the U.S. Department of State after it said further analysis of route options for the Keystone XL pipeline need to be investigated, with a specific focus on the Sandhills in Nebraska.

TransCanada said the company has already studied 14 different routes for Keystone XL, eight in Nebraska. The earlier studies included one potential alternative route in Nebraska that would have avoided the entire Sandhills region and Ogallala aquifer and six alternatives that would have reduced pipeline mileage crossing the Sandhills or the aquifer. TransCanada said the company hopes this work will serve as a starting point for the additional review and help expedite the review process.

“If Keystone XL dies, Americans will still wake up the next morning and continue to import 10 million barrels of oil from repressive nations, without the benefit of thousands of jobs and long term energy security,” concluded Girling. “That would be a tragedy.”

TransCanada said it has held more than 100 open houses and public meetings in six states since 2008, The company said thousands of pages of supplemental information and responses to questions were submitted to state and federal agencies. The State Department received over 300,000 comments on the project.