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The controversial Keystone XL pipeline no longer faces major administrative obstacles to its construction from the United States’ end, according to the Canadian ambassador to Washington D.C.
Talks with U.S. federal authorities regarding TransCanada’s crude pipeline route are proceeding “extremely well,” according to Bloomberg, which quoted Ambassador David McNaughton on Friday. “I don’t see any big hurdles in the way of Keystone from the administration’s point of view,” he said, referring to newly inaugurated President Donald Trump’s White House.
The state of Nebraska has shown some reservations regarding the pipeline, which met severe protests from environmental groups in 2015. As a result, President Barack Obama blocked the project, citing concerns that its construction undermined the U.S.’ and the world’s fight against the creeping effects of climate change.
Last month, TransCanada said that its proposed route was evaluated by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and approved by the Governor of Nebraska back in 2013. According to the company, “the preferred route avoids the area that is defined as the Nebraska Sandhills and is expected to have minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska.”
Still, environmental groups maintain that “Keystone XL is and always will be all risk and no reward.”
Trump campaigned on approving major pipeline projects to revitalize the country’s fossil fuel industry. He has also cast doubt on climate science that points to human contributions to global warming, and appointed climate denier Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After the new president took office, he paved the way for the contested Dakota Access pipeline to complete construction as well.
TransCanada reapplied for a permit to build the pipeline with the Department of State in January. If constructed, the Keystone XL pipeline will transport a daily average of 800,000 barrels of heavy Canadian crude from Alberta to U.S refineries.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…