TransCanada Reapplies for Oil Pipeline
The Canadian oil company that wants to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S. has submitted a new application for the project, after changing the route to avoid environmentally sensitive land in Nebraska.
TransCanada has re-applied to the U.S. State Department for permission to build the pipeline to carry oil from western Canada to a company hub in Steele City, Nebraska.
From there, the project would link up with other pipelines operated by the company to carry oil to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
In Texas, the pipeline's proposed route comes through 16 north and east Texas counties, including the far western edge of Angelina County.
President Barack Obama blocked the pipeline earlier this year, citing uncertainty over the Nebraska route — a decision that drew fire from Republicans. A State Department official says the agency will conduct a thorough review of the new application, but a final decision is not expected until early next year — well after the presidential election.
The pipeline's supporters say the Canadian oil would significantly reduce American dependence on oil from the Middle East, and create thousands of jobs.
Environmentalists say the long term dangers inherent in pipelines outweigh any short term economic benefits it might create. Landowners on the pipeline route are protesting the company's use of eminent domain powers to get easements through their property without their permission.