After the Republican victories in the mid-term elections, many are now talking about the likely approval of the long awaited Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline, which would stretch 1,179 miles from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska, has been in political limbo since 2009, awaiting approval from the Senate and President Obama. The president was concerned with the environmental impacts of the pipeline, and did not want to approve it for fear that it might adversely affect levels of carbon dioxide emissions.
Now that the Republicans have enough seats to likely break a filibuster concerning the Keystone XL Pipeline, the project seems very likely to pass during the next congress. Earlier this year, the State Department said it had no major environmental concerns about the pipeline, clearing yet another barrier out of the project’s path.
With all indications pointing towards the eventual completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline, Canadian oil producers are feeling encouraged. In a report in The Star vice-president of oilsands and markets for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Greg Stringham was quoted as saying “we are optimistic that this will actually get approved.”
In the same article, TransCanada’s (ticker: TRP) president and CEO Russ Girling was reported as saying that the company was looking forward to working with legislators to pass the Keystone XL Pipeline project, and that the project would inject $3.4 billion into the U.S. economy. That is good news, considering that the projected bill for the project has increased substantially due to delays. Petro Global News reported that the costs for the Keystone XL Pipeline would be as high as $8.4 billion, up from the previous estimates of $5.4 billion.
The Republican Party has said that completing the pipeline is a top priority on their “to do” list now that the balance of power in the Senate has shifted their way. Both House Speaker John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell have identified Keystone XL as a major policy point for the Republicans, and now they have numbers to help push the project forward.
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