TransCanada's reversal of fortunes
As promised during his election campaign, President Donald Trump signed the Presidential Permit required to advance the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The President made the announcement in the White House, flanked by TransCanada CEO Russ Girling, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and various heads of contractors and construction unions.
Trump called the announcement a "historic day for North America and energy independence". The President went on to say that Keystone XL will reduce US dependance on "foreign" oil, and this permit is just the first of many energy infrastructure projects soon-to-be approved under his watch.
The project still requires state-level permits from Nebraska, where it faces the most opposition. Trump jokingly promised to give the Governor of Nebraska a call, although he probably doesn't need convincing. Republican Pete Ricketts is a long-time supporter of Keystone XL. State permits fall under the jurisdiction of the Nebraska Public Service Commission. TransCanada already submitted its application for routing approval in the state back in February. Four out of five of Nebraska's commissioners are Republican.
Girling called the Presidential Permit "a significant milestone" in the project's history, promising not to let the President down.
Keystone XL will deliver 830,000 bbl/day of Alberta crude to the US Gulf Coast, one of the largest refining hubs in the world with a refining capacity of about 10 million bbl/day. Most of Alberta's existing export pipelines currently funnel Western Canadian crude to refineries in the US Midwest.