In January President Barack Obama delayed any decisions on the Keystone XL Pipeline, citing that he needed more time to assess the environmental impacts. He has not rejected the pipeline, which gives TransCanada, the company behind the proposal, hope for a permit grant in the future.
Many believe that Obamas delay is merely a political ploy to avoid making a controversial decision during an election year, which is bound to upset many people no matter which way he votes. As such, the belief is that talks will reopen after the presidential election in November.
Ron Liepert, the finance minister of Alberta, thinks that approval for the $7 billion pipeline will come after the elections. He told Reuters that, "we believe Keystone will be revived and approved after the presidential election, but it's not a sure thing."
Although due to the delays facing Keystone XL, and the possibilities that it won’t be built, Canada have started looking for alternative export routes.
Liepert states that, "Keystone is the project that makes the most sense but we can't put all our eggs in one basket."
Canada is looking to construct a pipeline to their west coast for shipping to Asia. Even though this route has also met stiff environmental resistance Liepert believes that, “there's going to be a big push because Asia has been investing heavily and wants the crude to head there. And I think Canada's federal government is committed to making that happen.”
Another proposal is to adapt the Line 9 pipeline, which runs from Montreal to Sarnia, so that the flow can be reversed and the oil can be transported to Canada’s east coast. From there it would then be piped or shipped down to the US east coast.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…