Associated Press

IG finds no conflict of interest in State's Keystone review

The State Department's internal watchdog said Wednesday that officials chose the contractor for the Keystone XL pipeline environmental review in compliance with its internal rules and did not violate conflict of interest safeguards.

The finding by Assistant Inspector General for Audits Norman P. Brown led to new calls by advocates and owner TransCanada for approval of the controversial $5.4 billion project, which would connect Alberta's oil sands with Gulf Coast refineries.


TransCanada not complying with Canadian rules: Audit

The Globe and Mail

An audit by the Canadian National Energy Board has found that pipeline operator TransCanada is failing to comply with rules, including those for hazard identification and risk assessment, The Globe and Mail reports.

White House Photo

Analysis: Clouds gather over Keystone XL, again

Just a few days ago, the White House had the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline tucked safely away at the State Department and in the hands of Secretary of State John Kerry.

Now the project faces new problems after Nebraska opponents won a court decision, and partisans on both sides have upped their rhetoric. President Barack Obama told governors on Monday he would decide whether to issue a permit in a couple of months, two of them said, but the specter of more uncertainty for the $5.4 billion project looms large.

Associated Press

Kerry won't pause Keystone XL review while Nebraska case appealed

The State Department late Thursday said Secretary of State John Kerry has not paused its review of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline in response to a court ruling in Nebraska that put a new question mark over the route.

The position for now shifts attention to the state, where legal wrangling could mean more months in courts before state officials, project owner TransCanada and opponents know if the route is valid or must go through a new approval process.

Center for American Progress photo

State Department won't pause Keystone XL review

The State Department will push on with its national interest determination review of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, despite a court ruling in Nebraska that has thrown a cloud over the project.

"At this point, the State Department continues its review of the presidential permit application for the proposed project," a spokesperson said in a statement. "We are monitoring the ongoing litigation in Nebraska."

The statement for now addresses questions about whether Secretary of State John Kerry would pause the department's 90-day interagency review, after a Nebraska judge on Wednesday ruled the state law used to approve the project's siting was unconstitutional.

TransCanada President Russ Girling earlier Thursday said the company wanted the review to proceed while the state appeals the ruling. Completion of the review sets the stage for Kerry to make a final recommendation on the $5.4 billion project.

Associated Press

TransCanada calls on Obama to continue Keystone XL review

The chief executive of TransCanada on Thursday called on the Obama administration to press ahead with its national interest review of the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a legal setback in Nebraska that could delay the project.

"This is a solvable problem and we are undeterred," TransCanada President Russ Girling said in a teleconference with analysts and reporters on the company's fourth quarter results.  "It's our view that there shouldn't be any impact on the Department of State process."


Nebraska law that allowed Keystone XL struck down

LINCOLN, Nebraska (AP) — A Nebraska judge on Wednesday struck down a law that allowed the Keystone XL oil pipeline to proceed through the state, a victory for opponents who have tried to block the project to carry oil from Canada to Texas refineries.

The ruling could cause more delays in finishing the pipeline.

Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy issued a ruling that invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of the route.


Environmental groups look to EPA, agencies to oppose Keystone XL

Environmental advocates, including a former adviser to Barack Obama, have renewed their calls for the President to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. On Wednesday they urged the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies to help make their case.

Anthony Swift, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, called EPA "the gatekeeper in evaluating how credible the environmental review is," during the national interest determination process on the project underway at the State Department.


Anti-Keystone radio ads airing in Nebraska

The Hill

Nebraska is getting dueling radio ads for and against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, as landowners and ranchers in the state who are opposed to the project are matching spots put up by TransCanada, The Hill reports.


More speculator interest in long-term crude futures


Increased seasonal fuel demand and the opening of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline have driven up oil prices in the short term, as well as increased speculators' bets on higher prices in the long term, Bloomberg reports.


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