Tue, Jan. 20, 5:58 PM
- Senate Republicans today blocked two attempts to amend legislation forcing approval of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have required the project be built with U.S.-produced steel and that the oil be used only in the U.S.
- A TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) spokesperson tells Bloomberg that 52% of the steel that is already purchased comes from a U.S. plant., with the remaining needed materials to be "pursued in the U.S."
- More politically treacherous debates are set for tomorrow over climate change and the disposal of refining byproducts.
- Meanwhile, TRP says it has filed paperwork in nine Nebraska counties to acquire access to the remaining land needed to construct, operate and maintain the pipeline, in its first steps since the state’s high court last week removed a major legal barrier for the planned route.
Fri, Jan. 9, 2:44 PM
- The House of Representatives passed legislation today approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and the White House promptly issued another veto threat on the bill.
- The House has now passed such a bill 10 times since 2011; the difference this time is that the Senate is under new Republican control and will begin debate on an identical bill next week.
- Lengthy debate and a likely string of amendments from Democrats mean the Senate may spend several weeks on the measure; in addition to discussing environmental concerns, opponents are expected to paint Keystone as an export pipeline whose oil will end up in China or elsewhere.
- After Nebraska's top court ruled against a challenge to the route through the state, TransCanada's (TRP +1.2%) Russ Girling said the company would continue to pursue the project as long as there is a demand from oil shippers, even if the Obama administration decides to reject the pipeline’s application.
Fri, Jan. 9, 10:05 AM
- The Nebraska Supreme Court issues a reversal of a lower court ruling that had blocked a route for the Keystone XL pipeline, leaving in place legislation that favored TransCanada's (TRP +3.2%) claim to build the pipeline across the state.
- The ruling ends the legal challenge to a Nebraska law that allowed the Republican governor to determine the route of the pipeline in the state.
- The project’s fate now returns to Pres. Obama, who has cited the lawsuit in deferring a decision on approving the project.
Thu, Jan. 8, 11:22 AM
- Quebec’s energy regulator has come out in favor of TransCanada's (TRP +0.9%) Energy East pipeline, calling the project “desirable.”
- The board estimates the demand for natural gas in Quebec will grow by ~2%/year through 2030, and that the only reliable option is to buy gas from outside Quebec and bring it into the province via TRP’s network.
- TRP hopes to link up to 1.1M bbl/day of Alberta crude to export terminals and refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick through the $12B pipeline.
Wed, Jan. 7, 5:18 PM
- Republican Sen. John Cornyn suggested today that lawmakers and the White House could negotiate a deal on the Keystone XL pipeline (NYSE:TRP), despite Obama administration threats to veto any bill authorizing the project.
- Cornyn did not outline a specific legislative strategy or suggest topics that could bridge the divide, but some Keystone supporters have raised proposals to accelerate natural gas exports as a possible sweetener and they could use other amendments as a way to lure a veto-proof majority on the legislation.
- Proponents note the White House issued its veto threat as a matter of preserving an executive branch process for reviewing the pipeline without judging the project’s merits, perhaps leaving room for a presidential permit approval later.
Wed, Jan. 7, 11:48 AM
- Whether or not Pres. Obama would veto a bill approving TransCanada’s (TRP -0.8%) Keystone XL pipeline, Canada's dreams of becoming a global oil superpower are being washed away by a confluence of forces over which the country has no control, Financial Post's Terence Corcoran writes.
- When even a Republican-dominated U.S. Senate can’t muster enough support to force Obama’s hand, it means environmentalists and other Keystone foes effectively control the U.S. pipeline decision-making process, according to Corcoran.
- The economic environment looks even worse, as the promoted alternatives to Keystone - Northern Gateway (ENB -0.4%) to the west coast and Energy East through to Quebec and New Brunswick - almost certainly are rendered uneconomical if ~$50/bbl oil remains for any extended period of time.
- Instead of Canada selling oil elsewhere, the U.S. will sell its own oil elsewhere after recently lifting the 40-year-old ban on oil exports; with the surge in U.S. oil production and the new oil price level providing a boost for the U.S. dollar and U.S. consumers, Corcoran believes Obama has no reason to change his mind.
Tue, Jan. 6, 2:11 PM
- The White House specifically states for the first time that Pres. Obama would veto legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP -4%), setting up a likely showdown against the Republican-controlled Congress in the coming weeks.
- Obama's press secretary says there is a well-established review process being run by the State Department that should not be undermined by legislation; Congress says it has the authority to regulate interstate commerce and thus is able to green-light the pipeline.
- Senators Hoeven and Manchin, a Republican and Democrat respectively, say the bill now has 60 co-sponsors, but no one is saying yet that there's enough support to override a presidential veto.
Mon, Jan. 5, 5:45 PM
- The House is planning to vote Friday on legislation approving TransCanada's (NYSE:TRP) Keystone XL pipeline, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says, predicting that Pres. Obama would not veto the legislation if it passes both chambers of Congress as expected.
- However, Obama has sounded increasingly skeptical of the project, and Sen. Charles Schumer said yesterday that the president would veto it even as Senate Democrats plan to introduce at least three amendments that would make the Keystone measure “more of a jobs bill.”
- The U.S. State Department has said it will not make a final decision on approving the pipeline until litigation over the route in Nebraska is resolved, which is expected to occur sometime early this year.
Fri, Jan. 2, 3:56 PM
- The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee plans to hold a hearing Jan. 7 on the Keystone XL pipeline (TRP +0.3%), followed a day later with a vote on a bill similar to one that fell one vote short of passage in November.
- The planned committee votes, scheduled by incoming panel chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, could set the stage for full Senate action the week of Jan. 12.
- Supporters picked up votes for the project in November's midterm elections, but they do not appear to have the 67 votes that would be needed to override a potential veto by Pres. Obama.
Dec. 19, 2014, 4:54 PM
- Pres. Obama again pours cold water on the alleged economic benefits of the Keystone XL (NYSE:TRP) oil pipeline, telling reporters today that the project is "not going to be a huge benefit to U.S. consumers. It’s not even going to be a nominal benefit for U.S. consumers.”
- Construction of the pipeline would create a "couple thousand” jobs, but there are better ways to create long-term, paying jobs for American workers by investing in infrastructure, Obama says.
- The remarks are sure to increase speculation that the president eventually will kill the project.
Dec. 18, 2014, 7:07 PM
- TransCanada's (NYSE:TRP) Keystone XL pipeline has a major hurdle to cross in the Nebraska State Supreme Court - which may rule as soon as tomorrow - and one pivotal aspect of the case there has been somewhat overlooked: the question of legal standing.
- While the court seems likely to base its ruling on the constitutional question of who in the state government should decide the pipeline's path, prior rulings suggest that standing - whether a litigant is the proper party to bring a lawsuit - also could be key,
- If the court were to rule that landowners challenging Nebraska law lacked standing, the lawsuit essentially would be tossed out without considering its substance, leaving the door open for future challenges from different plaintiffs.
Dec. 16, 2014, 6:27 PM
- Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says approving the Keystone XL (NYSE:TRP) pipeline will top the Senate agenda in January, possibly setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with Pres. Obama.
- With several new Republican senators taking over seats previously held by Democrats who have voted no in the past, Republicans are likely to easily pass Keystone legislation next year; the House, which will remain in GOP control, has passed measures approving the project nine times since 2011.
- The State Department said in April it would not make a final decision on approving Keystone until state-level litigation in Nebraska over the project’s route is resolved; the state’s Supreme Court is expected to decide on the case in the coming weeks.
Dec. 9, 2014, 5:25 PM
- Canada will not impose new carbon emission rules on its oil and gas sector in a time of falling oil prices, Prime Minister Harper tells the House of Commons as international talks begin in Peru to reach a new global agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Canada’s critical energy sector has been slammed by the recent collapse of world oil prices, and a number of Canadian producers recently have announced plans to cut spending and dividends.
- Harper’s government, which counts the resource-rich western provinces as its core political base, had said it was prepared to work with the U.S. on environmental rules covering the continental oil and gas sector.
- Among Canada's top energy firms: SU, ENB, EEP, EEQ, TRP, IMO, CNQ, TCK, CVE, BTE, OTCQX:COSWF, OTCQB:HUSKF
Dec. 4, 2014, 3:25 PM
- Enbridge (ENB +10.8%) soars to all-time highs on heavy volume following news of its sweeping plan to raise its dividend by 33% and transfer ownership of its Canadian pipelines to affiliates in a bid to lower funding costs for future expansion and new projects.
- The dropdown allows ENB “to accelerate dividend growth immediately and for the next four-plus years,” ScotiaBank analyst Matthew Akman says.
- "It's another attempt to remove the conglomerate discount by streamlining its businesses," says Colin Cieszynski of CMC Markets.
- The move comes as rival TransCanada (TRP +1.6%) faces pressure from activist investors to overhaul its business, including accelerating dropdowns into its U.S.-based affiliate TC Pipelines (TCP +0.6%) and a spinoff of its power business.
- EEP +6.6%, EEQ +7.3%.
Dec. 1, 2014, 7:32 PM
- TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) says it is suspending construction of its East Energy terminal at Cacouna in Quebec while it assesses a scientific report that recommends beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River be declared an endangered species with full protection of its habitat.
- The report on the marine population is sure to heighten opposition to the project as the city of Cacouna promises to hold a referendum on it and the Quebec provincial government pursues its own environmental assessment.
- The proposed St. Lawrence port is being designed to handle up to 175 super tankers a year, with a maximum carrying capacity equivalent to 480K bbl/day on average over the course of a year.
Dec. 1, 2014, 10:11 AM
- Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ -0.9%) Chairman Murray Edwards predicted Friday that oil prices could collapse to US$30/bbl before stabilizing at $70-$75.
- Edwards says industry projects that are already underway, particularly oil sands projects with a long-term horizon and capital already invested, likely will continue, but others will be shelved until there is more clarity around future oil prices; Edwards also sees a slowdown in conventional oil projects, especially those that tend to produce a lot at the front end.
- He expects efforts to build new pipelines such as Keystone XL (TRP +0.6%) and Energy East (ENB +0.8%) to continue because they represent a 30-50 year opportunity for Canada.
- Brace for such “apocalyptically low” oil calls now, Jason Zweig writes: “Watch for the last optimists to be swept away by pessimism - at which point it will be an opportune time to add to your energy stocks or MLPs... We’re probably not there yet."
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