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ALEXANDRIA, Va. and HOUSTON – Industry trade association NACS and ConocoPhillips Inc. both expressed dismay with the Obama Administration's rejection yesterday of TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL oil pipeline.
TransCanada proposed building a 1,700-mile oil pipeline that would connect the Canadian Oil Sands with U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. According to those in favor of the project, oil sands currently being developed could have shipped oil directly to the United States had the Keystone project been approved. Now that the plan has been rejected, newfound oil will be shipped from Canada to other countries, such as those residing in Asia, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
In a statement issued today, NACS said it continues to support the efforts of its labor allies, the Consumer Energy Alliance and the American Petroleum Institute, who have both been instrumental in seeking approval of the Keystone project.
'The project has undergone three years of intensive environment impact analysis and thousands of unemployed Americans have been standing by ready to work," NACS stated. "The energy security and economic opportunity provided by projects like Keystone XL, which has been found to present limited environmental risks, should be pursued as a matter of sound national energy policy and NACS will continue to support projects of this type."
Had it been approved, Keystone XL would have transported 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil to the United States. ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva said rejection of the pipeline could have significant economic consequences and would be a "lost opportunity" for the United States.
"Canada is a favorite country from which we import the oil our economy needs," Mulva told reporters yesterday at an energy conference taking place at Rice University. "It's a project that should be approved and developed. It will lead to employment and other economic stimulation and will generate revenue for the federal government and states."
No other company CEOs have made any public statements yet since the decision. However, in addition to ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, BP, Valero and Marathon Petroleum all have refineries in the Gulf Coast.
One of the reasons President Obama did not approve the Keystone pipeline were alleged concerns about areas in Nebraska that would be negatively affected by the plan.
In addition, the U.S. State Department issued a news release stating that it asked Obama not to approve the plan. "[T]he Department of State recommended to President Obama that the presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline be denied and, that at this time, the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline be determined not to serve the national interest," the release said. "The President concurred with the Department's recommendation, which was predicated on the fact that the Department does not have sufficient time to obtain the information necessary to assess whether the project, in its current state, is in the national interest."
The Keystone proposal may not be dead yet, though. TransCanada can apply again for a permit that would include a different route through Nebraska.