August 26, 2011 |
The State Department has concluded that the highly controversial proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline would not have “significant impacts” on the environment, removing a major barrier to the construction of a $7-billion project that would ship oil sands crude oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. The State Department's findings, part of the final environmental impact statement for Keystone XL, were hailed by the oil industry and sharply criticized by environmentalists. Though other pipelines from Canada have sailed through the government approval process with little reaction from industry or environmentalists, Keystone XL has become a fraught issue in Washington and the Midwest, and it threatens to become a significant political liability for President Obama, whatever the outcome. The final environmental impact statement is not the last word on the project.
August 16, 2012 |
The Canadian pipeline company TransCanada has quietly begun construction of the southern leg of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, installing segments near Livingston, Texas, company officials confirmed Thursday. “Construction started on Aug. 9. So we've now started construction in Texas,” TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard told the Los Angeles Times. The southern section of the pipeline received government approval in July. The first in a series of protests also was launched Thursday as opponents of the pipeline, designed to eventually carry diluted bitumen from the tar sands of northern Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, unfurled protest banners at two equipment staging yards in Texas and Oklahoma.
December 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund executive and environmental activist from San Francisco, chose his venue carefully. “It is here President Obama drew his own personal line in the sand,” Steyer said as he convened a conference on the Keystone XL pipeline Monday at Georgetown University. The reference was to a speech by Obama in June in which the president declared he would approve Keystone only if backers of the pipeline could prove that the project would not accelerate climate change.
November 7, 2011 |
In a sign of hardening skepticism toward the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, a top Senate Democrat has sent a letter to the Obama administration asking about a possible conflict of interest between the pipeline operator and a company handling the environmental impact study of the project. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last week cautioning that the environmental studies must be impartial.
March 22, 2012 |
President Obama said Thursday morning that his administration has assured the builder of the Keystone pipeline that the federal government will promptly review the southern leg of the project, which the company hopes to start building this summer. “The southern leg of it, we're making a priority,” Obama told a crowd of company officials, pipe workers and community members gathered here at the starting point of this stretch of the project. The northern portion of the project, Obama said, “we're going to have to review to make sure that the health and safety of the American people are protected.” The Obama administration has denied a permit for that northern pipeline, opposed by environmentalists because the original plans would have run it through environmentally sensitive lands.
March 21, 2012 |
After being pummeled for months by both left and right over the Keystone XL pipeline, the Obama administration is trying to start over -- this time with a new name. In January, the administration turned down an application to build the pipeline from Canada's tar sands region to the Gulf Coast. TransCanada, the company that wants to build the pipeline, more recently announced plans to go ahead with the southern portion of the route, starting from Cushing, Okla., which White House officials maintain is the more urgently needed part.