Feb. 20, 2014, 12:05 AM| Comment!
Feb. 19, 2014, 5:30 PM| 4 Comments
Feb. 19, 2014, 5:19 PM
- A Nebraska judge strikes down a law that allowed the Keystone XL (TRP) oil pipeline to proceed through the state, a victory for opponents who have tried to block the project.
- In invalidating Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of the route, the judge agreed with opponents' arguments that the law passed in 2011 improperly delegated the decision-making power to Heineman to give the company eminent domain powers within the state.
- The ruling means the governor's office has no role to play in the pipeline, and decisions within the state must be made by the Public Service Commission; Pres. Obama still must decide on a federal permit for the project.
Feb. 18, 2014, 10:59 AM
- Canadian Prime Minister Harper's frustration with Pres. Obama's failure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP) may make the latest installment of the North American “Three Amigos" summit meeting this week the frostiest since the annual meetings began almost a decade ago.
- Harper will meet with Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto today to discuss ways to boost trade, investment and tourism, but he doesn't appear ready to lift a stringent visa requirement imposed on Mexicans wishing to come to Canada; however, Harper's visit could help open the doors to Canadian oil and gas firms looking for opportunities available through Mexico’s proposed energy revamp.
- Obama arrives tomorrow to discuss ways to improve the 20-year-old NAFTA trade pact, but the tension between Harper and Obama will be thick.
Feb. 10, 2014, 2:59 PM
- Steven Harper's frustration with Pres. Obama's long delays in deciding the fate of the Keystone XL (TRP +0.4%) pipeline comes through again, saying if Obama doesn’t approve the pipeline, another president will.
- The Canadian prime minister says he remains relatively unperturbed about the drawn-out Keystone review, maintaining its approval is “inevitable.”
- "It takes a lot of energy to repress and to block a decision that is clearly and overwhelmingly in the national interest of the country," the PM says.
- Meanwhile, Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who has lobbied the U.S. to approve Keystone, says her oil-rich province won’t toughen rules to cut carbon emissions from crude producers until the U.S. takes similar steps.
Feb. 6, 2014, 6:28 PM
- Much of environmentalists’ opposition to big pipeline projects has focused on Keystone XL, but a new report from the Pembina Institute says Canada's Energy East project would have an even more detrimental effect on climate change than Keystone.
- Producing the crude needed to fill Energy East could generate an additional 30M-32M metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year vs. 22M for Keystone, according to the report.
- Both projects are spearheaded by TransCanada (TRP), which argues in support of both that the oil would be moved instead by truck, rail and tanker instead of a pipeline; also, in the case of Energy East, the western Canadian oil being shipped to eastern Canadian refineries would replace imported oil from countries with weaker environmental policies.
Feb. 4, 2014, 7:11 PM
- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and House members stepped up pressure on the White House to approve the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP), holding a press conference today at the Capitol where they were joined by labor leaders and Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Gary Doer.
- "This pipeline is essential. The time for study is over," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat whose presence was a reminder of the dilemma facing Pres. Obama, who is being pushed by several Democrats up for re-election in November to commit to Keystone.
- Landrieu says a top option is new legislation that would set a deadline for the president to make a final decision on the pipeline.
- Amb. Doer urges Obama to "choose blue-collar workers over Hollywood celebrities" and accept crude oil from Canada instead of from Venezuela.
Feb. 2, 2014, 1:42 AM
- Another train carrying fuel and chemicals has derailed in the latest in a series of similar accidents.
- This time, a Canadian National Railway (CNI) train ran off the track in Southern Mississippi on Friday.
- The train was transporting fuel oil, liquid fertilizer and methanol, and while some of the cargo leaked, there were no explosions.
- The incidents have raised doubts about the safety of moving combustible goods by train. The accident in Mississippi came on the day that the State Department released a report that was favorable to TransCanada's (TRP) Keystone XL pipeline.
Jan. 31, 2014, 3:14 PM
- The U.S. State Department releases its final environmental study of the Keystone XL oil pipeline (TRP +1.4%), and says the project likely would not change the amount of oil ultimately removed from Canadian oil sands, suggesting that building the pipeline would have little impact on global climate change.
- The conclusion is that the heavy crude would be extracted and delivered anyway - by rail if not pipeline.
- The review says it is not an approval or denial of the project, but it is a clear disappointment to climate activists and raises the odds it will win approval from the Obama administration.
Jan. 31, 2014, 4:05 AM
- The State Department's review of TransCanada's (TRP) Keystone XL oil pipeline is expected to say that the project is unlikely to significantly increase carbon emissions, reports say, as oil sands in Alberta will be developed anyway. The 800,000 barrels-a-day line would transport crude from the Canadian province to refineries in the U.S.
- Such a conclusion would be similar to a draft report in March. President Obama has said that he'll only approve Keystone if it won't cause an increase in carbon pollution.
- The assessment could be released today, after which eight government agencies will have 90 days to comment on it.
Jan. 30, 2014, 6:13 PM
- Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline now want to block its construction by showing that two oil pipelines from Canada to the U.S. are worse than one.
- The Sierra Club says in a new petition asking the State Department to revise its review that TransCanada's (TRP) Keystone and the proposed expansion of Enbridge’s (ENB) Alberta Clipper should be reviewed together to account for how the combination would contribute to climate change; if the rejection of one pipeline would lead to greater use of the other, then the projects should be considered together, the group says.
- The Alberta Clipper expansion is a different project from Keystone, ENB says, involving increasing the horsepower on an existing pipeline within an established right of way, with no new pipeline construction or ground disturbance.
Jan. 29, 2014, 12:25 PM
- Pres. Obama’s State of the Union address brought no clues on the pending decision of the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP -1.5%), but some pro-energy remarks seem to have left oil and natural gas producers and their lobbyists happier than environmental groups.
- Obama continued his support for an "all of the above" energy strategy, and praised natural gas as "the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change."
- “His words are going in the right direction for us,” Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, says.
- The speech seemed a far cry from from 2013, when Obama raised a call to arms against climate change deniers and fossil fuels, and threatened "if Congress won’t act on climate change, I will."
Jan. 28, 2014, 10:44 AM
- “There is no way, no how that the tar sands gets out of the ground as fast - or at all - without this pipeline,” summarizes the latest twist in environmentalists' opposition to the Keystone XL (TRP) pipeline; and trains can't possibly move all the oil out of Canada's oil sands, which would hold down greenhouse gas emissions.
- In a flurry of lobbying, the Sierra Club and other groups have been pressing for the final U.S. State Department report to account for limits on rail; if it’s not feasible to move large quantities of additional oil by rail, the pipeline would be the culprit in worsening climate change, they argued in a meeting last month with State Department officials.
- Shipping by rail costs at least twice as much as pipeline, which will "have a material impact on how much of this stuff gets bought up and how much of it gets sold."
Jan. 26, 2014, 2:14 AM
- A TransCanada (TRP) natural-gas pipeline has exploded and caught fire in a rural area in the province of Manitoba in western Canadian.
- TransCanada has closed the pipe down, leaving around 4,000 customers without gas.
- While there were no injuries, the incident comes at a sensitive time, with the U.S. still deciding whether to approve TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline and the company looking to build other similar infrastructure for oil and gas.
- The safety of transporting energy has come under increasing scrutiny lately, particularly following a series of rail and pipeline accidents.
Jan. 24, 2014, 8:25 AM
- The Obama administration is set to complete a critical phase of its Keystone XL (TRP) pipeline review next month, WSJ reports, setting the stage for Pres. Obama to make a decision on approving the controversial project in the thick of the midterm campaign season.
- The State Department aims to release a report on the environmental impact of the proposed pipeline extension next month, sources tell WSJ, a move that could put Obama on track to make a decision by May or June.
- Administration officials have long been vague about the timing of the State Department review.
Jan. 22, 2014, 5:18 PM
- TransCanada (TRP) spent more than $1M last year to lobby U.S. legislators and the Obama administration to build the Keystone XL pipeline, ~24% more than it spent in 2012.
- TRP's chief Washington lobbyist, Paul Elliott, is a former top campaign aide to Hillary Clinton, who served as Sec. of State in Pres. Obama's first term.
- The State Department is conducting an environmental analysts of Keystone and will determine whether the project is in the U.S. national interest before a final decision by Obama.
- Meanwhile, Total (TOT) CEO Christophe de Margerie is urging the U.S. to approve the pipeline to unplug a bottleneck that's stalling the development of Canadian oil sands.
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