TransCanada turns its focus to Nebraska now that it has received the coveted presidential permit to complete the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
TransCanada has been given the go-ahead to cross the Canadian border to build the northern portion of Keystone XL.
TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha says the company’s effort now shifts to obtaining a permit from the Nebraska Public Service Commission and answering questions surrounding Keystone XL.
“We recognize that over the next few months we’ll have to continue to address those issues and work with the groups in Nebraska to get our route approved, but we do believe in its benefits,” Cunha tells Nebraska Radio Network.
TransCanada proposes connecting the pipeline from western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. It then could be connected with the southern portion of the pipeline, which is carrying crude oil from Oklahoma City to refineries along the Gulf Coast.
Cunha believes the company’s track record in Nebraska will help secure the permit.
“We currently have one pipeline that’s been operating safety in the state since 2010 and that commitment hasn’t changed,” Cunha says.
The initial Keystone follows a route through the eastern section of Nebraska.
President Barack Obama denied TransCanada’s request for a permit to cross the border, claiming it would have added to greenhouse emissions by carrying crude from the oil sands of western Canada. In his statement, the president said the United States is a global leader in the fight against climate change and approving the Keystone XL pipeline would have undercut that global leadership.
TransCanada withdrew its application for a route through Nebraska after Obama’s decision. It re-applied with the Nebraska Public Service Commission this year after the Trump Administration signaled it would approve Keystone XL. TransCanada has applied to build the pipeline along the same route evaluated by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and approved by Gov. Dave Heineman in 2013.
Keystone XL is an $8 billion project. TransCanada wants to connect the pipeline from western Canada to the pump station at Steele City, Nebraska where it can be connected to the southern portion of the pipeline, sending crude to oil refineries at the Gulf Coast.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]