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According to a published report naming energy experts and at least one official of the Canadian government, the U.S. State Department is moving toward approval of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline.
As Nebraska lawmakers go into a special session next week surprisingly called by Gov. Dave Heineman—a session that could try to force TransCanada to move the pipeline out of the Sandhills—the Reuters report also notes that the State Department may not make its self-imposed yearend deadline.
But despite any possible delay Kevin Book, an analyst with ClearView Energy Partners in Washington, tells the news agency the pipeline is on track. "Everything that we are aware of suggests the State Department is moving toward 'yes' very openly, albeit slowly," said Book.
In addition Joe Oliver, Canada's natural resources minister tells Reuters his country has not heard any recent change in tone from the State Department that would suggest a shift in thinking.
Those comments only heighten the pressure lawmakers and the governor may feel to act against the current route.
According to Transcanada.com, the $13 billion "Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Project is an approximate 1,661-mile, 36-inch crude oil pipeline that would begin at Hardisty, Alberta and extend southeast through Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska."
It would incorporate some of the Keystone Pipeline (Phase II) through Nebraska and Kansas to serve markets at Cushing, Okla.,before continuing to a delivery point near existing terminals in Nederland, Texas.
The Big Sky Business Journal
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