TransCanada Puts Brakes On Keystone XL

Following a tumultuous election in which its chief advocate was ousted from public office, TransCanada Corp. has asked the Obama administration to pause its review of the presidential permit for the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline.

The permit is necessary because it would cross an international border. For more than seven years, former Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has lobbied the U.S. and its citizens on behalf of the pipeline. The $8 billion KXL was designed to bring Alberta’s heavy oil sands to the Gulf Coast for refining. A southern leg of the pipeline from Cushing, Okla., is already moving the heavy crude to refineries.

Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and CEO, said in a statement that the company noted in the request to Secretary of State John Kerry that last year, when Nebraskan politicians objected to a route through their state, the State Department paused its review until that dispute was resolved.

“We feel under the current circumstances a similar suspension would be appropriate,” Girling said in the statement.

The Nebraska review could take up to 12 months to complete, which would put the presidential decision in the hands of a new U.S. president. However, the White House said in a statement on Nov. 2 – the same day TransCanada released the contents of the letter to Kerry – that President Barack Obama intended to make a decision on the KXL before leaving office.

While delays have turned into years that the KXL has languished, several other pipelines have come online to move the heavy crude south, raising some question as to the need for the controversial line.

An award-winning journalist, Deon has reported on energy, business and politics for almost 20 years. Email Deon at


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bill yonley | Nov. 3, 2015
I am working on an 8 billion dollar pipeline in Turkey, and I can tell you; the amount of jobs and corresponding economy that comes with all the pipe and stations manufacturing and supplies is mamoth. As soon as the engine of the US economy starts up again and crude is roughly $65-70; our country should jump on this project. There will be 20k+ jobs created as well as incredible windfall of by-product consumption. This doesnt even speak to the need of both the US and Canada to partner on Oil production on several levels, including a check on middle east relations. Im no expert on the economy, but Ive been in this business a while. Until youve seen it 1st hand, you have no idea how much wealth a job like this offers the contractors, manufacturers, and laborers who participate. And, yes, its about the jobs. Real work for all who will participate. Opportunities for thousands of folks to better themselves. Whats true in Turkey will be true in the US.

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