Keystone Pipeline Permit, A Canadian firm has reapplied for a US permit to build a multi-billion dollar Canada-US oil pipeline, after its first proposal was rejected over environmental concerns, both sides said Friday.
The US State Department said it is “committed to conducting a rigorous, transparent and thorough review” of the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline that would connect to an existing pipeline in Steele City, Nebraska.
It said the new application from TransCanada Corporation “includes proposed new routes through the state of Nebraska,” where environmental groups had raised concerns about the pipeline’s potential danger to a major aquifer.
On January 18, President Barack Obama rejected the proposed pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to the US Gulf coast, saying he could not vouch for its safety by a deadline despite intense election-year pressure.
Obama’s political rivals had given him 60 days to make a decision on whether to approve the $7 billion, 1,700-mile (2,700-kilometer) pipeline route, forcing him to choose between environmentalists and industry.
The Obama administration said TransCanada could resubmit the Keystone XL project but that officials were not able to assess its plan by a February 21 deadline put into law by the Republican majority in Congress.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney lashed out at Obama’s rejection, saying he “demonstrates a lack of seriousness about bringing down unemployment, restoring economic growth and achieving energy independence.”
TransCanada said in February it would go ahead with building part of the pipeline between Oklahoma and the Texas coast that does not require US presidential approval. It said work should begin this summer and take about a year. (AFP)