Canadian firm asks Trump to approve controversial pipeline

Ottawa, Jan 27 (IANS) A Canadian firm has submitted a new presidential permit application to the US Department of State for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The pipeline, construction of which has been rejected by environmental and indigenous groups and which was blocked by former President Barack Obama, will be able to transport 830,000 barrels of bituminous crude oil pumped from Canadian deposits to refineries located on the Gulf of Mexico, Efe news reported.

In a release issued after the close of stock market trading on Thursday, TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling said Keystone XL will help the US meet its growing energy needs.

The company’s application comes just days after new US President Donald Trump signed executive actions to move forward on construction of two controversial oil pipelines that affect Canada, giving his OK to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

“We are going to renegotiate some of the terms,” Trump said on Tuesday in the White House as he signed the executive order that invited TransCanada to resubmit its application for the proposed project.

The proposed 1,900-km pipeline would run from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would tie into other pipelines carrying crude to US Gulf Coast refineries.

The US State Department will review the application and has 60 days to issue a decision, according to published reports earlier this week.

“(Keystone Xl) will strengthen the United States’ energy security and remains in the national interest,” Girling said in a company release.

Despite Trump’s executive order, the project still faces hurdles. Some landowners in Nebraska have pursued legal and procedural avenues against it.

In its release, the company said it “committed to working productively with all stakeholders and tribal leaders as this project moves forward.”