TransCanada CEO: ‘There Isn’t a Rock That Hasn’t Been Overturned’ in Keystone Review

CUSHING, OK - MARCH 22: Pipe is stacked at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline on March 22, 2012 in Cushing, Oklahoma. U.S. President Barack Obama is pressing federal agencies to expedite the section of the Keystone XL pipeline between Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast. 
National Journal
Ben Geman
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Ben Geman
March 4, 2014, 8:32 a.m.

HOU­S­TON — Tran­sCanada Pres­id­ent and CEO Russ Girl­ing isn’t will­ing to gaze in­to a crys­tal ball when it comes to the tim­ing of an Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion de­cision on his com­pany’s pro­posed Key­stone XL pipeline.

“I have long giv­en up try­ing to pre­dict when this is go­ing to come to a con­clu­sion,” Girl­ing told Na­tion­al Journ­al on the side­lines of a ma­jor en­ergy con­fer­ence here.

But that said, he’s hope­ful that the years-long re­view won’t go on much longer, even though there are no dead­lines for Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry and Pres­id­ent Obama to make the fi­nal calls.

Girl­ing called the State De­part­ment’s fi­nal en­vir­on­ment­al ana­lys­is re­leased in late Janu­ary, which con­cluded that Key­stone is un­likely to prompt a green­house-gas emis­sions surge, a big step.

“There isn’t a rock that hasn’t been over­turned. So that was a big mile­stone,” he said of the lengthy re­port on the pro­ject’s eco­lo­gic­al foot­print.

“Sub­sequent to that, I would say that I’m much more con­fid­ent we’re on the path for a de­cision in the re­l­at­ively near fu­ture, be­cause all of those ma­jor ques­tions have been answered,” he said at the an­nu­al IHS CER­AWeek con­fer­ence.

The re­port’s com­ple­tion touched off a 90-day peri­od for oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies to weigh in with State, which is lead­ing the fed­er­al re­view of Key­stone, the pro­posed pipeline to bring oil from Al­berta’s oil sands pro­jects to Gulf Coast re­finer­ies.

But Girl­ing said that while the In­teri­or De­part­ment and En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency had con­cerns with State’s draft ana­lys­is, Tran­sCanada has sought to ad­dress them in its re­sponses to State.

“I would hope that the in­ter­agency con­sulta­tion is for the most part com­plete,” he said.

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