Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog
TransCanada is downplaying any suggestion that plunging gas prices have put the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in further jeopardy.
Gas prices in Nebraska have fallen nearly 40 cents a gallon in the last month alone.
“Our customers remain solidly behind the project,” TransCanada VP Corey Goulet tells KFAB radio. “The short-term reduction in the price of crude oil doesn’t affect their commitment at all.”
At the same time though Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb, who has been fighting the pipeline for years, tells Nebraska Watchdog the lower pump prices are “a big deal.”
According to Kleeb, TransCanada fears a scenario spelled out in the State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.
That scenario states: “…if long-run oil prices fell consistently below $65 to $75 per
barrel (they are nearing $60 today)… supply costs for marginal oil sands capacity could be tested and production impacted…”
Kleeb calls that a “clear case” for scrapping the pipeline.
But as he stares at today’s low gas prices TransCanada’s Goulet doesn’t mention production. Instead he tells KFAB the real issue is getting his country’s crude oil 1,179 miles—right through Nebraska—to the Gulf of Mexico.
“(Our customers) need this pipeline because it’s more cost-effective to transport crude by pipeline than it is by rail,” says Goulet.
While the future of those gas prices—and President Obama’s ultimate yes or no— remains anybody’s guess, Bold and TransCanada are anxiously awaiting a critical court decision.
The Nebraska Supreme Court is being asked to rule on the constitutionality of a state law which effectively gives KXL the state’s blessing. Without the high court’s OK the pipeline would have no currently legal route through the state.
While the court has not indicated any timetable for its decision, both sides are preparing for a ruling as early as Friday.
Contact Joe Jordan at email@example.com.
Joe can be heard on Omaha’s KFAB radio every Monday morning at 7:40, KLIN in Lincoln every Tuesday morning at 7:35 and KHAS-AM in Hastings every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
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