What Is the Status of Keystone XL?

Do you really know the facts behind the Keystone XL Pipeline Project?

Executive Order 13337 signed April 30, 2004, by President George W. Bush provides the Secretary of State with the power to receive all applications for Presidential permits for the exportation or importation of petroleum, petroleum products or other fuels to or from a foreign country.

Upon receipt of the application the Secretary of State or his/her delegate shall request additional information from the applicant and refer the application to Cabinet heads,  seikatsusuidosos  as well as any other Federal Government department and/or agency the Secretary of State deems appropriate:

On September 19, 2008 TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. submitted an application for a Presidential Permit to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline. Included in the application was a statement that Part I and II of the Keystone Pipeline were already on schedule for completion. Phase III was recently completed.

TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P., is a limited partnership, owned equally by affiliates of TransCanada Corporation, a Canadian public company organized under Canadian laws and ConocoPhillips Co, a Delaware Corporation. The operator of the project will be TransCanada Pipeline LP.

The entire Keystone Pipeline Project consists of 3,861 miles of pipeline split into several phases as may be determined by viewing the TransCanada map.

· Phase I – Hardisty in Alberta province Canada, through Saskatchewan province Canada, through Manitoba province Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, and through Kansas and Missouri to Patoka and Wood River, Illinois. This portion was completed June 30, 2010.
· Phase II – Steele City, Nebraska to Cushing, Oklahoma. This portion of the pipeline was completed February 8, 2011.

· Phase III – Cushing, Oklahoma to Nederland, Texas. This portion of the pipeline was completed January 22, 2014.

The completion of Phase III means we are able to move oil from Hardisty in Canada to Nederland Texas.

What is left to build is the 1,179 mile long 36-inch-diameter pipeline which begins in Hardisty, Alberta province Canada and travels through Saskatchewan province in Canada to Morgan, Montana, and south through South Dakota to Steele City, Nebraska. The advantages of this pipeline are outlined in a booklet published by TransCanada/Keystone XL.

On February 3, 2012 Denial of the Presidential Permit was published in the Federal Register.

The denial of the Presidential Permit had little to do with the actual permit. After receiving 1.9 million public comments, and holding nine public comment sessions in the six states involved, the State Department determined further information would be required on alternative routes avoiding the Sand Hill Region of Nebraska.

The request for an alternate route became a political football when Congress became involved and inserted a clause into the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act H.R. 3765, P.L. 112-78, December 23, 2011 regarding Keystone XL. Since it was physically impossible to obtain an alternate route from TransCanada, go through all necessary approval channels and prepare a final EIS within 60 days, Congress offered no other option to the Administration but to deny the original XL application.

When and if, the XL portion is complete and operational we will actually have a quantity of two pipelines beginning in Hardisty, Alberta province Canada traveling south through the United States to Texas.

On May 4, 2012 TransCanada, Keystone Pipeline LP submitted their revised route Presidential Permit Application and exhibits for consideration of Keystone XL.

On January 31, 2013 the Department of State issued their Final SEIS Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

Notice was published in the Federal Register, five days later, on February 5, 2014 providing members of the public and other interested parties the option to comment “on any factor they deem relevant to the national interest determination that will be made for the Presidential Permit application”.

The 30-day public comment period will close on March 7, 2014. There are two ways, and only two ways, to comment on the proposed pipeline. You may submit comments online to regulations.gov or you may mail comments directly to:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Energy Resources, Room 4843

Attn: Keystone XL Public Comments

2201 C Street, NW

Washington, DC 20520

Please note that any comments made are not private and will be made available to the public.

A report jointly issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Pipeline Safety Trust and the Sierra Club outlining the safety risks involved in transporting this particular type of oil is available on the NRDC website.

It wasn’t that long ago the United States suffered the worst oil spill in the history of this country when the explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April of 2010. Along with the injured there were a total of 11 deaths in the explosion and it is estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico.

Some folks may question why it is taking so long to approve Keystone XL, but my question is why are we even considering approving a second pipeline? What will it do for us as a country? One of the selling points of Keystone has been the fact that it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil from Mexico and Venezuela.

Phase I of this operation has already been operational for almost four years, has it reduced our need for foreign oil? Phase II of the operation has been in operation for over three years, has it reduced our need for foreign oil?

Has it produced the tens of thousands of jobs that were claimed? Has it improved our economy to the extent claimed?

Keystone is the largest privately funded project in this country and my own personal opinion is there has not been nearly enough time spent trying to determine whether or not this project will ultimately be in our national interest to pursue.

It’s obviously in the best interests of those members of Congress that have invested heavily in the project, it’s obviously in the best interests of the individuals that own refineries, and it’s obviously in the best interests of the oil companies and anyone connected to the oil industry but is it really in the best national interest of this country?

 

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