- Posted May 4, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
TransCanda Reapplies to Build Keystone Pipeline
TransCanada, the company that wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to refineries along the Gulf Coast of Texas, has reapplied to the State Department for approval of the plan.
The company has come up with a new route through Nebraska which was the source of controversary and had led to the disapproval of the plan earlier this year with a veto of the request by President Barack Obama. The new course through the Cornhusker State is now working its way through the approval process on the state level.
TransCanada had proposed a new route last month that would veer east around the groundwater-rich Sandhills region before looping back to the original route.
State Department approval is needed because the $7 billion pipeline would cross a U.S. border. The department confirmed Friday the application for the new route had been received.
The pipeline filing came on the same day as a disappointing report on U.S. job growth. The Labor Department said employers pulled back on hiring in April for the second straight month, evidence of an economy still growing only sluggishly, though the overall jobless rate slipped to 8.1 percent as more people gave up looking for work.
Obama is under pressure to support the pipeline from Republicans and business and labor leaders who argue it would create jobs; the State Department estimates it could result in up to 6,000 new jobs.
"The multi-billion dollar Keystone XL pipeline project will reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oil and support job growth by putting thousands of Americans to work," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer. "Keystone XL will transport U.S. crude oil from the very large Bakken supply basin in Montana and North Dakota, along with Canadian oil, to U.S. refineries."
The pipeline's opponents, including Democrats and environmental groups, say it would transport "dirty oil" from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, that would require huge amounts of energy to extract. They also worry about a possible spill. The pipeline would travel through Montana, South Dakota, Kansas and Oklahoma, in addition to Nebraska.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed a bill last month that allows the state to proceed with its review of the proposed pipeline through his state, regardless of what happens at the federal level.
A senior State Department official said U.S. officials would conduct a thorough review of the new application, with a final decision not expected until early next year — well after the presidential election.
From the Cornfield, something that should not be a political issue has become a political football.