Business 2012 Look Back: Keystone XL pipeline's politics stir controversy
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 4:47 AM
Original Print Headline: Pipeline's politics stir controversy
The Keystone XL stirred passions pitting energy industrialists against environmentalists like nothing since hydraulic fracturing.
The cross-border pipeline planned to move Canadian oil-sands crude to the Cushing hub, and the Gulf Coast saw plenty of green lights and roadblocks in 2012.
President Obama set off a firestorm of industry criticism with his move temporarily blocking the northern leg of the Keystone in January. Since then, both sides have entrenched deeper in the battle between what some say is a blow against OPEC imports and others decry as a potential disaster to air and water quality.
Oklahoma seemed mainly in favor of the Keystone XL. Union support was high, while federal regulators eventually approved the southern leg from Cushing to the Gulf Coast.
A middle leg from Nebraska to Cushing already is operational. In the meantime, environmentalists and, for now, the Obama Administration have qualms about delivering a thick type of crude that will be piped across a multitude of rivers, streams and the giant Ogallala Aquifer.
TransCanada is still seeking federal approval for the re-routed cross-border leg and hopes to have the Keystone in service by 2015. The Alberta, Canada-based firm's original Keystone Pipeline already delivers oil-sands crude from Alberta to Illinois.