Keystone XL pipeline faces an uncertain future amid controversy

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The future of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which received approval from the Trump administration after the permit to build the much-politicized cross-border pipeline that would run from Canada to refiners on the Gulf Coast was delayed and ultimately denied by Obama, is again facing problems.

A senior executive from TransCanada, the company that owns the project, told investors on Friday that the company is still looking at the economics behind the project as it waits on regulatory approvals, which means a decision probably won’t take place until the end of the year. They’re also unsure if oil companies are still interested in using the pipeline.

“Our assessment of these factors will really drive our investment decision when we get into that November-December time frame,” said Paul Miller, executive vice president for the company’s pipeline division.

Approving the Keystone XL pipeline was one of  President Trump’s campaign promises.

According to Miller, Keystone XL has “good support” from existing customers, but the company is seeking to attract new customers, or shippers, who would be willing to pledge their commitment to the pipeline before construction begins.

Now the Public Service Commission of Nebraska is holding a hearing next month to decide whether or not to allow TransCanada to build the southern leg of the pipeline. In an effort to make a point about alternative energy, pipeline protesters and major environmental groups have started a project called Solar XL, in which they plan to construct solar panels along part of the pipeline’s path through the United States.

Over 160 people signed up to speak at a recent public hearing in Nebraska.


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