TransCanada to re-route proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline
After demonstrations and legislative wrangling, the federal government has ordered TransCanada to re-route it's proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. This is to keep it away from environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska.
Thursday's announcement could delay a final U.S. decision on the project until after the 2012 election. It'll mean a new environmental review that could take at least a year.
TransCanada wants to build the $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline, carrying crude oil from Canada 1700 miles to the Texas Gulf Coast.
The proposed route brings it through Holt county, just west of O'Neill, through Nebraska's Sandhills region, and over an aquifer that supplies water to eight states.
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman says that the government's decision to order TransCanada to re-route the pipeline is an important, "common sense" one given the possible environment impacts. And, "a clear indication that they were paying attention to what we were doing in Nebraska."
TransCanada says it's concerned about the time it will take for the pipeline's construction to be approved, especially when time left in transporting supplies from Venezuela and Mexico to U.S. refineries is running short.
TransCanada says, "if Keystone XL is continually delayed, these refiners may have to look for other ways of getting the oil they need."
Senator Mike Johanns says he's confused as to why it would take so long to make the decision. The Republican says "the State Department needs to provide a clear explanation as to why it would take an additional year and a half to analyze alternative routes."