President Barack Obama should no longer have reason to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil from Canada to Nebraska and ultimately to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
TransCanada's initial request for the project was rejected earlier this year by Obama, who has authority over the $7 billion project because it crosses a U.S. border. The president cited concerns that the pipeline's route was too close to groundwater in an area in the Sandhills region of Nebraska, and that there had not been enough time for a proper review in the face of an upcoming deadline. Opponents of the project maintain it will transport dirty oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, which requires high amounts of energy to extract, and the threat of a spill remains.
The State Department estimates the project will create 6,000 new jobs, and supporters say it will help alleviate the U.S.'s dependency on oil from the Middle East. The new route would build the pipeline east of the Sandhills region, then return to the original route. While it would not pass through North Dakota, the pipeline will move oil from the Bakken Formation to refineries. That should help take more trucks off the roads in North Dakota, and help the state get its ever-growing quantity of oil to markets quicker and in a more cost-effective fashion.
We expect Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline in a timely manner.