The controversial Keystone Pipeline may not be null and void just yet. Various Canadian outlets are reporting that plans to build the southern leg of the pipeline are already in the works. According to Canada.com:
Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. on Monday announced it plans to build the most southern portion of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline as a stand-alone project that does not need approval from the Obama administration.
The move comes as the company prepares to re-apply for a presidential permit for the northern section of Keystone XL, running from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.
In a statement, the company said it had informed the U.S. Department of State that it will go ahead with construction of a section of Keystone XL running from an oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, to refineries in Port Arthur, Texas. Dubbed the “Gulf Coast Project,” it will carry oil from the existing Keystone pipeline that terminates in Cushing.
Trans Canada told Canada.com, “What had been the Cushing to U.S. Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL Project has its own independent value to the marketplace and will be constructed as a stand-alone Gulf Coast Project, not part of the Presidential Permit process.” The cost of the pipeline, according to Trans Canada is estimated at $2.3 billion and should be in operation by 2013.