Keystone XL pipeline builder proposes new route
April 18th, 2012
08:52 PM ET

Keystone XL pipeline builder proposes new route

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CNN) - The company building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has submitted a proposal for a new route, a spokesman for Nebraska's environmental authority said Wednesday.

The new route is east of the initially proposed route that went over an environmentally sensitive aquifer, said spokesman Brian McManus of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. TransCanada is the company constructing Keystone XL.

The pipeline is intended to carry between 500,000 to 700,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada's oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

U.S. President Barack Obama in January denied a permit for the 1,700-mile pipeline, a decision that prompted Republican criticism that the president was not doing everything possible to create jobs and combat high gasoline prices.

Supporters, including the oil industry, also say the pipeline would lessen the country's dependence on oil imported from volatile regions. Opponents, including environmentalists, say the pipeline might leak and that it would lock the United States into a particularly dirty form of crude that might ultimately end up being exported.

“With this new route submitted and the state of Nebraska acting to move forward, the President is running out of excuses for blocking the Keystone pipeline any longer," House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told CNN. "With a veto-proof majority in the House supporting Keystone, the President is becoming increasingly isolated in his opposition to this job-creating energy project. He should listen to the voices of the American people and unlock the project so we can get Americans working and address high gas prices."

Obama announced in March that he would approve a portion of the pipeline, a part that runs from Cushing, Oklahoma – a key repository of U.S. oil – to the Gulf. He had said he was always in favor of permitting that portion, even when he blocked the full project.

The initially proposed route of the pipeline had stirred concerns among Nebraskans, including Republican governor Dave Heineman, worried about underground water supplies. An underground aquifer in Nebraska provides drinking water for much of the state.

They feared a pipeline burst would allow oil to seep into the Ogallala Aquifer, a massive water table beneath the Great Plains and one of the largest in the world. The aquifer provides drinking water for much of the state and is important for Nebraska's agricultural economy.

The previous route of the Keystone pipeline would have crossed the U.S. border in Montana, shortcutting an existing pipe that enters the United States in North Dakota.

Currently, there are not enough pipelines to take the oil being produced in Canada and North Dakota to refineries and terminals on the Gulf. That means Midwest refineries can pay lower prices to get it.

Giving the Canadian oil easier access to the Gulf means the glut in the Midwest goes away, making it more expensive for the region, but it would increase the amount of that oil being available to global markets.

The House on Wednesday approved a Republican bill that aims to fast-track the Keystone XL oil pipeline project as part of another 90-day extension of federal transportation funding. The 293-127 vote allows Speaker Boehner to begin negotiations with Senate Democrats over a longer-term funding measure for road, rail and bridge projects.

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Emmy Skaddittle

    none of this oil would stay in the country, its going to the gulf to be shipped out

    April 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • RealityBites

      Its going to Texas to be refined into gasoline, most of which will stay in the US because we use the most gas. It will also help keep prices steady when there are storages.., like now. HELLO!

      April 19, 2012 at 7:45 am |
      • common sense

        Like HELLO 1) Why are yo uso concerned about employing more Canadians? Are you American or are you simply for this since Obama is against it? 2) Do you think the Canadian company is investing millions to build this pipeline to provide gas at the same price that they are currently selling it to US citizens in the midwest? Or do you think they might be looking for higher prices by selling the gas on the world market? The Texas refineries pay the world market price. 3) Pull your head out and stop downloading your talking points from Faux News.

        April 19, 2012 at 9:35 am |
      • jean2009

        Before you post learn some facts....tar sands oil is highly corrosive and contains bitumen it cannot be processed into gasoline, it has the consistency of cold molasses and using it would be the equivalent of burning coal in your automobile. Basically it will be used for industrial manufacturing in China. Refining it will increase greenhouse gasses by 40%. It also poses many environmental challenges due to its corrosive nature plus the high pressure and heat it takes to move it through a pipeline. That means it can more easily eat through and rupture pipelines. It is an environmental disaster looking for a place to happen.

        The tar sands oil would only be going through the United States on its way to China...European Union countries are moving to ban its import due to the environmental impact of using it.

        This is why the Canadian native tribes would fight its being transported over the Canadian Rockies and through native tribal lands on the Canadian west coast.

        The Canadians would rather bamboozle stupid Americans into allowing a pipeline to the tax-free zone on the gulf at Port Arthur, TX so it can be sold to the highest bidder on the world market without paying U. S. taxes.

        The end result will be that we will spend 10 to 20 cents more per gallon for gasoline thanks to our friendly neighbors on the north. This information is from a research report hired by TransCanada itself to present before the Canada's National Energy Board. This is Canada's way of across the board raising their price for all its tar sands crude regardless of where sold.

        April 19, 2012 at 10:47 am |
      • davec.0121

        for jean 2009: you are actually quite wrong in most of what you say. The initial product extracted from the tar sands is sometimes called "bitumen", or heavy oil. It does not 'contain bitumen'. It does initially have a mollasses-like consistency when cold, but is up-graded to syn-crude and blended with lighter oil to reduce the viscosity so that it can be pipelined. It most certainly can be refined into gasoline and other finished petroleum products, though the yields are smaller. They want to build a pipe line to the Gulf Coast for the syn-crude not to export it to China since a pipe line to the Canadian west coast would be cheaper both in construction and in shipping costs. Instead, one reason for the pipe line is to bring the tar sands oil to the Gulf Coast since the refineries there are set up to efficiently refine lower grade, higher sulfur heavy oil, such as we currently import from Venezuela and Mexico.

        April 19, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • Steveo

        The Canadians would rather bamboozle stupid Americans.
        Kinda harsh there Jean! The only folks who can approve this are our elected officials! btw, the president himself approved the southern half, so are you saying he was bamboozled too??

        April 19, 2012 at 11:14 am |
      • jean2009


        Amazing when those that disagree invariable never post no links to substantiate their claims.

        First you disregard the fact that both Canadian and American native tribes oppose the pipeline, the Canadian native tribes even oppose tankers to pick it up on their own west coast, and that the 21 member European Union countries are considering a trade war with Canada to stop shipment of tar sands crude to their ports.

        April 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
      • Pete

        This tar sands project is sent thru the country to Texas because Canadas enviromentalist fought tooth and nail against it being refined there.Canadians told their prime minister no west coast route or he'd suffer political suicide.The containts of this mix is highly corrosive and would mean running an exotic metals,inconel 600,hastelloy,stainless 316L and others.High temperture,high corrosive resistance,very expensive and have special welding procedures for making welds that hold up to this enviromentally harmful soup.I myself have welded these exotic metals and its no picnic in such large diameter piping,having wallthicknesses of 1"or more,it'll be tough getting welders with certifications in these welding procedures.It would also have a large inspection presence because of insurence issues related with the enviromental concerns in this project,because of past incidents with this company.They'd be under the microscope 24/7 on this project much like the welds we did on safety related piping on nuclear facilities,NRC with cameras all the way..So I hope Keystone ,who is shipping this product overseas,its a known fact,is heavily insured,they'll need it before this project is done.Look to Michigan,they've suffered from the Keystone leaks up there and are still cleaning it up enviromentaly.

        April 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • acdcguy

      There is roughly 7mm bbls of crude refined in the gulf coast every day, 2.5mm bbls in Houston alone. Yes, crude is exported along with finished products such as gasoline, heating oil, ulsd, jet but there a lot of these bbls are shipped to the USAC , NYH area via pipeline to fill their demand. So, everyone stop with the "but these Canada bbls will all be exported", you are wrong. If anything, will help decrease our demand of imports, not much, but every little bit helps.......

      April 19, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • joe

      Hope & Change has become Blame & Shame.
      From the pipeline to the GSA, our divider and chief has done nothing but blame somebody/anybody elses greed for his need of more governement control. Obama, and his collaberating news networks, have made a running joke out of the progressive agenda. Why is that??

      April 19, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  2. texasgreenacres

    wouldn't it be cheaper and faster to build a refinery in canada ? then they could send down a finished product. by rail cars.Oh I forgot they need to get it to the gulf to load it on a ship?we don't need any more dirty air down here than we already have.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • jean2009

      Not really, they have their own environmentalist, and the Canadian native tribes generally win when they battle with the Canadian government over land use and tribal land rights.

      If this pipeline by any route is approved the Texas gulf is the destination.... so plan on more air pollution.

      Wouldn't it be cheaper all around to go green?

      April 19, 2012 at 11:04 am |
      • RealityBites

        "Wouldn't it be cheaper all around to go green? "

        Yes it would.
        And yet, here you are.., blogging on a computer made from petroleum products, run by petroleum products and maintained by petroleum products. Go green jean! Recycle your PC today!!

        April 19, 2012 at 11:24 am |
      • Howard

        Arguing with you Obama stooges is an exercise in futility. It's obvious that your Alinsky tactics, have zero concern for the truth ... for all you fools think about is maintaining your free lunch from Obama ... or, keeping a black man in office ... or, your desire to tear down the United States of America. You can sing to the choir, here on CNN, but the rest of America is waking up to your underhanded, dishonest tactics. So, you better get used to the idea that your liar and chief, Barack Obama, will be evicted from the people's White House, in November ... as he should have been 3 1/2 years ago.

        April 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • jean2009

        How timely, believe it or not I have a new PC sitting in the box waiting to be hooked up. A good deal of it is stainless steel, and it is much smaller without a honking big tower.

        I'm always amazed at when those that disagree never post references of links to support their claims....all they manage to do is be disagreeable.

        April 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  3. NickD

    The true desitination for this oil can be found near the end of the article. this oil is destined for the worlds markets and will do nothing for gasoline prices in America.

    Also in this article and ignored is the fact there there is a massive glut of oil in the middle part of America and we are still paying 4 dollars for gasoline. hey people drilling won't do anything, the American consumer has been sold out to the global energy conglomerates and they could care less what happens to American citizens so long as they make their billions and billions of dollars worth of profits.

    Freedom? Well big money does not care about your freedom.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  4. jerry

    lets see how Mr hope and change handles this one...if he can find a way to get a vote here. Oh well, next year we will have some adult supervision in DC...both houses and the presidency to the GOP headed up with a man who actually has a resume.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • DEcember 2012


      April 19, 2012 at 2:30 am |
      • Howard

        ... and, they found traces of DEcember 2012 on their sheets ... just like with Bill and Monica ... 2 other Democratic paragons of virtue !!!

        April 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • jean2009

      Yes....he has the resume of Gordon Gekko!

      April 19, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  5. Sponge-Bob

    I don't think Obama will approve this, he's wanted higher gas prices all along.

    April 19, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • jean2009

      I assume George W. Bush wanted the highest ever national average price for gasoline back in June/July 2008 when it was at record high of $4.11 per gallon?

      I passed a gas station about hour ago and the price for regular was $3.61.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  6. Church

    Sponge-Bob, how can you make such a ludicrous statement?
    This whole issue is just another case of Repugnant smoke and mirrors.
    We all know that this refined oil will go to China – Read the papers!
    Do some research on the Koch brothers. They are behind this whole Repunican fiasco.
    "The stupidest animal on Earth is a poor person who votes Republican."

    April 19, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Steveo

      From politifact:

      Chu is a a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who served as director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a federal energy research center. His quote about European gas prices has become somewhat notorious since he uttered it almost four years ago.

      In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in late 2008 - before Obama was elected and at a point when Chu had no ties to Obama - Chu told the newspaper that he favored raising gasoline taxes gradually over 15 years to coax consumers into buying fuel-efficient cars and discouraging sprawl.

      "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe," Chu said in an interview with the Journal in September 2008. The quote did not appear in print until December, when the Journal ran a story after news emerged that Chu was being tapped as energy secretary.

      Chu made have made that statement prior to being the energy secretary, but the fact is he made that statement and STILL was selected by Obama to be the energy secretary!

      April 19, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  7. Church

    Thank you, Steveo, but that doesn't mean that our gas prices are affected by this administration.
    We all know the real reasons why gas is higher at the pump:
    OPEC, Republican war rhetoric concerning Iran, and speculation.

    April 19, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Steveo


      The truth is NO president, whether GOP or Dems controls gas prices and no president, whether GOP or Dem can wave a magic wand and fix this! This is really controlled by the world market (global supply and demand, which is basic economics in action)! That simple truth does not stop the finger pointing and the blaming, kinda what you just did by blaming the GOP!

      April 19, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Steveo

      btw Church, you're welcome!

      April 19, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • rightytighty

      Imagine a world in which OPEC's control on oil supplies are deminished and prices are much more stable.
      Imaging a world in which we, and other western countries, produce more oil to reduce the need for OPEC oil.

      Simple and logical, a progressive socialists worse nightmare.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  8. Church

    Yes, I blamed the Republicans for the war-against-Iran rhetoric which was coincidental with the rise in oil prices and is well known to be one of the reasons.
    If evaluation and correction needs finger pointing, then let's at least point in the Right (pun intended) direction.

    April 19, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Steveo

      At least your honest about being dishonest! What caused prices to rise was speculation! Not the GOP and not the DEMS! Speculation no doubt took into account the war talk but it was speculation that caused prices to go up. If you are looking to pass blame, why don't you also blame Chu for saying what he did in 08! I never read where he changed his mind!

      April 19, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  9. rudy

    same ol group different post. Obama 2012 stop all the crazies move forward not back to the middle ages.

    April 19, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  10. Church

    I stated above that speculation was also ONE of the cause for the rise. And let's not forget OPEC.
    We seem to agree on most points.
    I'm glad to see true analysis with civil discourse.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Steveo

      I too am glad to discuss with civility! Thank you

      April 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  11. Jean2009isanidiot

    Yes OIL sands can be turned into gasoline. See the refineries below that all turn oil sand crude into gasoline.

    Notice that Suncor was originally owned by Sunoco so it used to be American owned. Noticed Shell is dutch owned and Imperial is owned by Exxon an American company. So this would be something that would boost profits for Canadian, Dutch and American producers. You are right that midwest people will see some increase in gas prices and the refienrs will some some decrease in profits. But people all over America will got a lower gas price instead of just the mid west because the supply and demand will come into an equilibrium price. Mid-west is artificially low, gulf and east coast are artificially high.

    As for calling oil sands "tar sands" here is a basic lesson on what Tar actually is.
    Tar is nothing even close to oil. It is a misnomer in the extreme. Or perhaps you mean coal tar since you mentioned that oil sands are like burning coal. so here you are wrong again (and link to prove it). You could never turn Tar, or Coal Tar into gasoline. However since oil sands is actually a petroleum substance it can be turned into gasoline as I already proved above with those refineries. Those refineries provide the gasoline and diesel that I use to fuel my car and truck.

    Next up increasing green house gas emission by 40%. What do you mean by that? Increase the worlds green house gas emissions by 40%? Nope. Canada creates 2% of world green house gases. If you some how burn all the oil in the oil sands in a year you might be able to get Canada up to that amount . 40% more to extract it than comparable crudes? Nope... Check that previous link slide 14. Canada oil sand crude is at most 10% more intensive than Saudi Arabian crude. And we don't stone women or execute homosexuals or fund terrorists who kill Americans. Oh and its less intensive than oil produced in the USA in California. Most of the creation of green house gases in fact comes from americans using their cars and burning gasoline not from refining or extracting oil sands.

    In fact if you are truly worried about green house gas emissions lets go back to that "coal" you were talking about that you mine in the states that also uses enormous tailings bonds like 10% of the oil sands does (the other 80% of the oil sands is extracted in-situ meaning they don't mine it they suck it out after heating it up with steam Lets look at this link again on slide 15

    What?!?!THE STATE OF KENTUCKY PRODUCES MORE EMMISIONS WITH THEIR COAL BURNING ELECTRICITY THAN ALL OF THE OILSANDS COMBINED?!?!?! WHAT MORE THAN DOUBLE ALL OF ALBERTA"S OILSANDS AND COAL EMMISIONS?? That's right Jean2009. If you are really worried about the environment shut down your coal burning plants in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri and you will have gotten rid of the equivalent of 18 times the amount of emissions caused by the oil sands.

    Lets not forget your coal mining which is much larger than Canadian oil sands did this
    and this
    and more recently this

    As for going 2000 miles in the wrong direction to export crude to China, I hope you don't think I need a link for that. That is patently absurd. Oil sands crude wants to go to the gulf coast to get a world oil price and because US gulf already refines venezulan and mexican heavy crude.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  12. DontCensorMe

    Yes OIL sands can be turned into gasoline. See the refineries below that all turn oil sand crude into gasoline.

    Notice that Suncor was originally owned by Sunoco so it used to be American owned. Noticed Shell is dutch owned and Imperial is owned by Exxon an American company. So this would be something that would boost profits for Canadian, Dutch and American producers. You are right that midwest people will see some increase in gas prices and the refienrs will some some decrease in profits. But people all over America will got a lower gas price instead of just the mid west because the supply and demand will come into an equilibrium price. Mid-west is artificially low, gulf and east coast are artificially high.

    As for calling oil sands "tar sands" here is a basic lesson on what Tar actually is.

    April 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  13. nICKATL01

    I believe he knows what he's doing

    April 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  14. mindy rodriguez

    Mr. President, do you really think Amricans are going to forget you did not pass the Keystone Pipeline bill which all Americans needed by talking about marriage? Your backers must be worried about the fact that both gay and straight Americans are furious you did not pass Keystone. And why? Julia Louis Dreyfus? You did not do your homework...she never once rallied against the Louis Dreyfus Group's Pipeline Division...guess her family is upset that they did not get the job but Trans Canada did....we need Keystone and not Julia...and not of us care what you think about marriage...we want oil and heat and food and jobs...

    May 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  15. Mindy Rodriguez

    Boycott the 2012 Emmy Awards...Julia Louis Dreyfus marched with such vigor against the Keystone Pipeline which cost 10,000 Americans jobs....did you know she never marched against the Louis Dreyfus Group's pipelines? She did this for cheap advertising and it cost the rest of us jobs and oil. She does not care about the environment....she does not march against the part the Louis Dreyfus Group is playing in deforestation, slavery, starvation, stealing local farmland in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Ukraine....she is a phony....Boycott the Emmy Awards....

    July 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  16. Job Offer

    This is very fascinating, You are a very professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking extra of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks

    August 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  17. Ivy

    About a year ago on C-SPAN I saw a bill in congress I believe the house of representatives, referring to this future pipeline, it was a bill to limit the use of this oil from this pipeline for use in the United States only and not sold to other countries. The bill was of course defeated by Republicians, voting in the majority to defeat this measure. I think it is obvious that this is again a project that will be lining the pockets of special interests and has nothing to do with providing more oil for use here in our country, where they want to destroy our beautiful land and create a potential hazard. Few jobs will come from this and they will be temporary.

    March 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm |