WASHINGTON (AP) — Safety regulators have quietly placed two extra conditions on construction of TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL oil pipeline after learning of potentially dangerous construction defects involving the southern leg of the Canada-to-Texas project.
The defects — high rates of bad welds, dented pipe and damaged pipeline coating — have been fixed. But the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration wants to make sure similar problems don't occur during construction of the pipeline's controversial northern segment, which is on hold pending a decision by the Obama administration.
One condition requires TransCanada to hire a third-party contractor chosen by the pipeline safety agency to monitor the construction and make reports to the safety administration on whether the work is sound.
The Senate left Washington on Thursday after a contentious month that has left backers of the $5.4 billion Keystone XL pipeline searching for a way to get a vote to approve the controversial project after falling short on an energy efficiency bill that it was linked to.
The authors of a bill that would mandate approval, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said they would press for a vote after senators return on June 2. But the path ahead appears as uncertain as ever, with Hoeven looking at new legislation while Landrieu said she still wants to vote on the efficiency bill and Keystone as a package.
TransCanada CEO Russ Girling told Bloomberg this week that shipping tar sands oil by rail is a more expensive option than moving it via pipeline, but his company is examining the possibility given the latest delays in its Keystone XL project.
Overall first quarter profit for TransCanada Corp. dropped 8 percent but adjusted earnings gained and revenue was up on higher pipeline demand during the bitterly cold winter, The Wall Street Journal reports.
This isn't the first time uncertainty about the route of the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska has led the Obama administration to delay in a permitting decision.
President Barack Obama cited the undetermined final alignment through the state when he denied the project in early 2012. That was the same reason State Department officials on Friday gave for extending a national interest determination review of the revised route, a move that likely puts off a decision until 2015 -- until after the mid-term elections.
The decision was scored as blatantly political by project proponents over the weekend, criticism that will continue for months to come. Yet it also opens the administration to renewed public pressure from opponents to reject the $5.4 billion TransCanada line once and for all.
Obama administration officials on Friday declined to say when they might approve or deny construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, following the announcement by the State Department of a new delay in completing its review process.
Senior department officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, denied trying to slow the $5.4 billion oil sands crude pipeline project past the November elections, as critics charged after the announcement.
NELIGH, Neb. (AP) — Opponents of a proposed pipeline that would carry oil from Canada south to the Gulf Coast have stamped a massive message of resistance into a Nebraska field that is in the project's path.
The artwork, which covers 80 acres and was done last week, reads "Heartland#NoKXL." It is the latest protest environmentalists and landowners have employed against TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Critics of the pipeline want President Barack Obama to reject the project because they fear it could contaminate groundwater and contribute to pollution.
Dismissing a story in Canadian media that a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline is imminent, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the State Department is still reviewing the proposed project, The Hill reports.
Environmentalists plan to protest the Obama administration approval of drilling in Arctic waters when the president visits Alaska, while the state’s governor and others plan to push for more oil and gas production, National Journal reports.
Despite New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina – hailed by President Obama in a visit Thursday – the federal government is still falling short when it comes to improving flood defenses, according to an analysis from the Georgetown Climate Center, E&E reports.
Oil was rising again Friday after prices a day earlier racked up the biggest single day increase since March, 2009. U.S. benchmark crude for October delivery was up $1.56 to $44.12 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent jumped $1.18 to $48.74, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Seeo – a California-based developer of electric car batteries that holds a licence for patents from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – has been acquired by international car parts company Robert Bosch, Reuters reports.
An analysis prepared for the New England Coalition for Affordable Energy -– which was funded by the American Petroleum Institute and America’s Natural Gas Alliance -– found that New England could end up paying $5.4 billion more for energy if the region fails to upgrade its infrastructure, the New Haven Register reports.
Hercules Offshore didn’t appeal a move by Nasdaq to have its stock deslisted from the exchange in the wake of its Chapter 11 filing, so the company stock – trading for 7 cents a share Thursday afternoon – is now handled in the over-the-counter market, FuelFix reports.
In the heart of Colorado’s drilling boom, Weld County saw the highest rate of job growth in the country even though the state adopted air pollution rules seen as a precursor to those under consideration at the Environmental Protection Agency, E&E reports.