Exclusive: U.S. to seek new Keystone route, delaying approval

WASHINGTON Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:02pm EST

Demonstrators carry a giant mock pipeline while calling for the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline during a rally in front of the White House in Washington November 6, 2011.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Demonstrators carry a giant mock pipeline while calling for the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline during a rally in front of the White House in Washington November 6, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration plans to announce on Thursday it will explore a new route for a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, delaying a final approval beyond the 2012 U.S. election, sources briefed on the matter said.

The decision would be a victory for environmentalists, many of whom oppose the pipeline, and a setback for TransCanada Corp, whose $7 billion Keystone XL project is seen as the most important North American oil pipeline plan for decades.

One source familiar with the matter said that studying a new route for the pipeline would likely take 12-18 months, putting a final decision after President Barack Obama's bid for re-election on November 6, 2012.

If the administration explores a new route, "it's a huge victory, and it would probably be the biggest environmental gift that President Barack Obama has given us," said Tony Iallonardo, a spokesman at the National Wildlife Federation.

Some of Obama's liberal supporters have strongly opposed the project and delaying a decision could allow Obama to avoid antagonizing environmentalists disillusioned with his progress on climate change. However, it could also open up a line of attack from Republicans who could argue that a delay will slow job growth.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Timothy Gardner; editing by Sandra Maler and Jackie Frank)

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Comments (72)
stambo2001 wrote:
That pipeline will be approved regardless of whether they have to lay it through peoples living rooms. Canada is the single largest supplier of oil to the usa. Large swaths of the usa would be dark and cold places if we turned off the oil and electricity taps up here. American needs to import more than 65% of its daily energy consumption, and most of that comes from the Great White North. They’ll just have to label the pipeline a national security necessity, which it is, and lay it wherever they want.

Nov 10, 2011 12:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Elektrobahn wrote:
Enough already!

If Americans really don’t want Canadian oil, then fine, go ahead and buy whatever you need – and it’s plenty – from your friends in Russia and Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. The Chinese have made it clear they will buy as much of our oil in the oilsands as we can produce, and they’ll put capital in there too.

Speaking of capital, that’s something the Chinese have lots of too. Haven’t they kept America afloat for many years now? But that’s fine, Margot Kidder says the oilsands are toxic and hey! like she’s an expert.

Nov 10, 2011 12:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
madaboutthis wrote:

You are Canadian, eh? What the Americans have is oil also, not as much as before, tons of reserves we have not taped into. We have also natural gas the worlds largest reserve.. yes we have PLENTY of hot air, arrogance and stupidity my Canadian friend.

Nov 10, 2011 12:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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