TransCanada says it will reroute planned pipeline

By Grant Schulte, Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. — Canadian pipeline developer TransCanada will shift the route of its planned oil pipeline out of the environmentally sensitive Sandhills area of Nebraska, two company officials announced Monday night.

Speaking at a news conference at the Nebraska Capitol, the officials said TransCanada would agree to the new route, a move the company previously claimed wasn't possible, as part of an effort to push through the proposed $7 billion project. They expressed confidence the project would ultimately be approved.

Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada's president for energy and oil pipelines, said rerouting the Keystone XL line would likely require 30 to 40 additional miles of pipe and an additional pumping station. The exact route has not yet been determined, but Pourbaix said Nebraska will play a key role in deciding it.

The announcement follows the federal government's decision last week to delay a decision on a federal permit for the project until it studies new potential routes that avoid the Sandhills area and the Ogallala aquifer as the proposed pipeline carries crude oil from Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.

Debate over the pipeline has drawn international attention focused largely on Nebraska, because the pipeline would cross the Sandhills — an expanse of grass-strewn, loose-soil hills — and part of the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies water to Nebraska and parts of seven other states.

Company officials had claimed that moving the route was impossible because of a U.S. State Department study which found the Sandhills route would leave the smallest environmental footprint.

Pourbaix said he was confident a new route would also avoid the parts of the aquifer that sit closes to the surface, which was a major concern cited by environmentalists and the region's landowners. He said moving it out of the Sandhills region would likely ease many of the concerns posed by landowners.

"We do remain confident that we could have built a safe pipeline through the original route that was approved by the State Department" in an environmental impact statement released earlier this year, Pourbaix said. "At the same time, it has always been a priority of TransCanada to listen to our stakeholders."

He added: "We're confident that collaborating with the state of Nebraska will make this process much easier."

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said any new route would require a supplemental environmental impact statement that likely would take more than a year to complete.

"Based on the total mileage of potential alternative routes that would need to be reviewed, we anticipate the evaluation could conclude as early as first quarter of 2013," Toner said in a written statement.

Delaying the decision on the pipeline went over badly in Canada, where it was seen as a signal that the country must diversify its oil exports away from the United States and toward Asia.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he made it clear in a weekend meeting with President Barack Obama that the nation will step up its efforts to sell oil to Asia since the decision was delayed, and would keep pushing the U.S. to approve the project.

"This highlights why Canada must increase its efforts to ensure it can supply its energy outside the U.S. and into Asia in particular," Harper said.

Harper said he emphasized the pipeline would mean economic growth on both sides of the border.

Business and labor groups who support the project say the environmental criticism is overblown, and based more on opposition to oil than the project itself. They say the project will create construction jobs, although the exact number is disputed.

Environmentalists and some Nebraska landowners fear the pipeline would disrupt the region's loose soil for decades, harm wildlife, and contaminate the aquifer.

The speaker of Nebraska's legislature, Mike Flood, said the state will conduct an environmental assessment of its own at state expense to determine a route that avoids the Sandhills area and other ecologically sensitive areas. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will oversee the process, with collaboration from the U.S. State Department.

Noah Greenwald, a spokesman for the Center of Biological Diversity, said his group remains opposed to the pipeline and still believes it poses an environmental threat. The center is one of three environmental groups that have sued the U.S. State Department, seeking a judge's order to block the project.

"Even with the reroute, we still feel like we can push forward," he said. "We're going to keep up the public pressure on the administration as this moves forward."

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman had called a special legislative session to seek a legal and constitutional solution to the pipeline debate. But the session's stated goal — to enact oil pipeline legislation — has lacked a clear consensus about what, if anything, state officials ought to do.

Nebraska State Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm, an outspoken pipeline critic, was pleased with Monday's announcement.

"It's good for the people of Nebraska. It's good for TransCanada," he said.


Associated Press writer Matthew Daly in Washington contributed to this report.

Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Hearing Rally at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center on 14th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue in NW Washington DC on Friday afternoon, 7 October 201

Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Hearing Rally at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center on 14th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue in NW Washington DC on Friday afternoon, 7 October 201 by Alex Parker

Tagged: Keystone XL Pipeline

More from Alex Parker

Comments

gudpoynt 2 years, 11 months ago

So, TransCanada said any other route was "impossible" until the gov't called them on it, after which, they agreed to do the impossible.

They didn't even wait around for the gov't to prove that their claim of "impossible" was bogus. The preempted the findings so they could save a little face, and not be called outright liars.

"It has always been a priority of TransCanada to listen to our stakeholders."

But of course, we won't actually do anything about it until somebody makes us.

SHAREholders on the other hand, now that's a different story.

0

blindrabbit 2 years, 11 months ago

Hopefully they will re-route it through Charles Koch's property in Wichita, where it will spring a leak and soil him!

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"Business and labor groups who support the project say the environmental criticism is overblown, and based more on opposition to oil than the project itself."

The environmental impacts of mining this particular oil are nothing short of disastrous-- on the local environment in Canada, on the areas through which the pipeline(s) will run, and to the planet as a whole because of the "game-over" carbon footprint it has.

0

itwasthedukes 2 years, 11 months ago

Such hate for a product you all use everyday. Interesting.

0

Don Whiteley 2 years, 11 months ago

Nice job, Americans!! Business as usual. Tie us even more tightly to Middle Eastern oil, send more of North America's money to countries who sponsor terrorism. And your only answer for alternative energey is to send us all back to the stone age or plant wind turbines on every acre of Kansas soil.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

And your only answer is to drive us all off the cliff a little sooner, at a higher rate of speed.

0

Jimo 2 years, 11 months ago

This may not matter in the end anyway. Yesterday, the natural resource world was rocked by a (not so) surprising announcement. The so-called Seaway Pipeline, which runs from the key oil spot of Cushing, Okla. to the Gulf Coast, will be reversed. What used to transport imported oil into the Midwest will now carry what has been a growing glut of Midwest oil to the Gulf (to either be refined into domestic gasoline or be exported to Latin America). So, this existing pipeline will now compete with this proposed Keystone XL. It is unclear what the economics favoring the XL pipeline would be after such a move.

What this also does is undercut what had been an artificially depressed price in the U.S. for oil. Yesterday, U.S. oil soared (over $100/b now) while the European prices, which govern most Atlantic trade, fell. For the first time since early this year the difference was less than $10/b between the two. With the pipeline reversal, what had been a glut in the Midwest, caused by the limited infrastructure not designed for the significant supplies now flowing from places like North Dakota, will fade away and with it the depressed price. This year oil producers had been forced to go to extraordinary lengths to transport oil to the Gulf including trucking it, putting it on barges, and even shipping it by rail. And it was only going to get worse. Anadarko last week announced a resurvey of oil outside Denver showed 0.5 to 1.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil - a quantity very rarely found in the U.S. anymore.

No, Canadian oil sands (much like American oil shale) has always been cursed. It is recoverable in theory and only at great expense and difficulty. Canada could try to build a pipeline over the Rockies to the Pacific (and ship to China or California) or it build more pipeline (besides the existing Keystone pipeline that runs east to Manitoba and then south to Kansas) eastward and at some point refine it into gasoline for Chicago, Toronto, Ohio, etc. Or it could just accept that the resource is too limited to be developed right now.

Oh, and this oil was never intended for U.S. consumers. The whole point of piping it to the Gulf was to export it. Nor were there many jobs attached to the plan, as the Canadians recently admitted. (They were double and triple counting jobs. E.g., a 2 yr. long welding job was counted as 2 jobs.) Needless to say, the whole project simultaneously emitted a shocking amount of GHG into the atmosphere while keeping the world addicted to oil that much longer. The whole project never made any economic sense without the massive subsidies the governments were providing to it.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

Tar sands oil should be left in the ground and my tax dollars left out of the deal!

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.

For the future »

Grasslands conservation program deadline nears

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Kansas says Jan. 25 is the deadline to submit applications for the grassland reserve program. ...

For the future »

Support grows for Kansas water policy reforms

The Associated Press Legislators say support is building for Gov. Sam Brownback's proposals to change Kansas policies to conserve the state's water and extend the ...

Research and development »

Bugs may be resistant to genetically modified corn

By Rick Callahan, Associated Press One of the nation's most widely planted crops — a genetically engineered corn plant that makes its own insecticide — ...

Friends of the Kaw »

Happy Holidays from Friends of the Kaw

Thank you to all who gave one of the best gifts to the Kansas River this year – your comments opposing in-river dredging. Hundreds of ...

Making good choices »

Kansas reservoirs filling up with sediment

In this 2007, file photo Frank "Jerry" deNoyelles, KU ecology professor of the Kansas Biological Survey, launches a boat off the banks of Kanopolis Lake southwest of Salina. DeNoyelles is part of a team of researchers that is measuring the silt filling up Kansas reservoirs.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two federal reservoirs in Kansas have been losing significant amounts of water storage capacity because of sedimentation, according to a study ...

Friends of the Kaw »

Kansas River Water Trail Makes Department of Interior Top 100 List

The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative has been set in motion by President Obama as a way to advance conservation and recreation in the United States. ...

For the future »

Ranch teaches farm to table process

Rock Bottom Ranch in Basalt, Colo., is offering a series of hands-on classes focused on the slaughter and butchering of farm animals.

JANET URQUHART, The Aspen Times BASALT, Colo. - It's one thing to grow a few backyard tomatoes. It's another to raise a pig and serve ...

Friends of the Kaw »

K-State Researchers to Release Kansas River Dredging Study

Dredging operation on the Kansas River owned by Kaw Valley Companies, one of the companies seeking expansion.

Private in-channel dredging operations on rivers like the Kansas River cause deepening and widening of the channel and accelerate erosion of the banks. As a ...

For the future »

Report shows Lawrence meeting goal to lower greenhouse gas emissions

By Chad Lawhorn In the battle against global warming, Lawrence can proclaim it is a good soldier, thus far. A new report from City Hall ...

Friends of the Kaw »

Friends of the Kaw Receives Awards and Focuses on Dredging Concerns

Friends of the Kaw Receives Two Major Awards Patagonia Environmental Grant: Patagonia has awarded Friends of the Kaw a grant for $8,000 dollars in support ...

Making good choices »

Fix-It Chick: Conserve energy by insulating hot-water pipes

By Linda Cottin Hot water loses 2-4 degrees of its heat when left in uninsulated lines. Insulating hot and cold water lines can save energy, ...

For the future »

Apply Today! City and County Launch "Common Ground" Program for Farmers, Gardeners

The City of Lawrence and Douglas County have made 12 sites available for community members to use during the 2012 growing season. The Common Ground ...

For the future »

KC firm helps develop low-cost green housing

KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) - A Kansas City architecture firm has teamed up with an area Habitat for Humanity group to develop affordable, green housing ...

For the future »

FACT CHECK: GOP senator gasps for facts on asthma

Dina Cappiello, Associated Press It was a startling claim: Air pollution has no connection to asthma, Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said on the Senate ...

Friends of the Kaw »

Major Dredging Expansion Threatens Kansas River

Thirteen sand dredging sites on the Kansas River are now up for public comment before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These sites comprise of ...

For the future »

Businesses hope to increase dredging along Kansas River; environmentalists warn that process is destructive

Several area companies hope to increase the amount of sand and gravel dredged from the Kansas River by 1 million tons per year. But before ...

For the future »

TransCanada says it will reroute planned pipeline

Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Hearing Rally at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center on 14th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue in NW Washington DC on Friday afternoon, 7 October 201

By Grant Schulte, Associated Press LINCOLN, Neb. — Canadian pipeline developer TransCanada will shift the route of its planned oil pipeline out of the environmentally ...

Making good choices »

Free workshop to give tips on weatherization and home energy conservation

Local sustainability advocacy group Transition Kaw Valley will hold a free home energy conservation and weatherization workshop from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday ...

For the future »

US delays massive oil pipeline from Canada

WASHINGTON (AP) The State Department is ordering the developer of a pipeline that would carry oil from western Canada to Texas to reroute it around ...

For the future »

US mulls new route for Canada oil pipeline

Demonstrators against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, protest outside the law offices of Nebraska Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood, in Norfolk, Neb., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, while Alex Pourbaix, president of TransCanada Corp.'s energy and oil pipelines, holds a meeting inside with state senators to discuss the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline through the state.

By MATTHEW DALY Associated Press The State Department is considering a plan that would reroute the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada away from ...

For the future »

Local group forming to support a tax on carbon

Most folks want energy costs to go down, so it’s rare to find a group pushing for energy costs to increase. But that’s the intention ...

Research and development »

Renewable energy options to be studied for Farmland Industries site

The former Farmland Industries site on the eastern edge of Lawrence is shown in an aerial photo taken Monday, May 16, 2011.

Federal agencies will spend $35,000 to study how the former Farmland Industries site could one day support the production of renewable energy. On Friday, the ...

Research and development »

Scientists hope to see birth of iceberg

Ben Panzer, a Kansas University PhD student in electrical engineering, works on snow radar equipment in NASA’s DC-8 aircraft as it flies over Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. Standing is John Sonntag, Instrument Team Lead for Operation IceBridge.

Radar technology developed at Kansas University is helping NASA scientists track something they’ve never monitored before: the birth of an iceberg. Last month, a crew ...

For the future »

Douglas County investing in long-term sustainability

Upgrades to heating and air-conditioning systems at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center are on pace to save county taxpayers more than $50,000 this year. ...

Making good choices »

Can you tell bottled water from tap?

Lawrence resident Sam Groth signs a pledge to avoid drinking bottled water after taking a taste test to distinguish bottled water from tap on Wednesday at the corner of Ninth and Mass streets. Representatives from Think Outside the Bottle spent part of the afternoon talking with local residents about their drinking choices.

Not all water tastes the same. Or does it? That was the question a group of community organizers were posing to pedestrians on Massachusetts Street ...

Friends of the Kaw »

FOK Annual Dinner & Silent Auction

“Into the Sun – Kaw River” watercolor on paper by local artist and FOK board member Lisa Grossman. Each year Lisa donates one of her Kansas River paintings to the FOK silent auction. This particular watercolor is 8x10” and will be available for bidding during this year’s event.

Friends of the Kaw is hosting the FOK Annual Dinner & Silent Auction on November 17, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the ...

Making good choices »

Firefighters, medics save energy, thousands of dollars during friendly competition

At  Station #2 at 19th and Massachusetts sits a piece of Lawrence History an American LaFrance pumper and branded it #68 as it came via a box car on the railroad.

By Mark Fagan Turning off lights, computer monitors and treadmills helped Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical trim more than $1,500 from their electric bills during a ...

Making good choices »

Local musician warns of vampire energy through song

Robert Baker isn’t what you’d call an environmentalist. The Lawrence resident is a lifelong musician who was tasked in 2010 with penning the score to ...

Making good choices »

Fix-It Chick: Put a stake through vampire energy-suckers

By Linda Cottin Vampire power is a term coined to describe electrical power wasted by typical household electronics when they are plugged in but not ...

Research and development »

Manhattan, K-State win energy challenge over Lawrence, KU

TOPEKA -- The city of Manhattan and Kansas State University teamed up to win a $100,000 prize by defeating the city of Lawrence and Kansas ...

For the future »

New report provides in-depth analysis of food system in Douglas County area

As a heavy rain falls outside, Douglas County farmer Mark Wulfkuhle, second from right, talks about some of his farming practices at his Rocking H Ranch during the Douglas County Food Policy Council tour of Douglas County farms Friday, Nov. 9, 2010. According to a new report released by the council, there are 1,040 farms in Douglas County, down 36 percent from 1,630 in 1950.

The Douglas County Food Policy Council released a 75-page report today that provided a smorgasbord of information about the food system in Douglas, Jefferson and ...

Research and development »

State makes battle plan for toxic algae

BY CHRISTINE METZ During the past summer, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment tracked toxic blue-green algal blooms in more than 40 lakes and ...

For the future »

Writer calls for better environmental foresight in new book

Bryan Welch

By CHRISTINE METZ In 2007, Bryan Welch nearly killed himself on a twisty mountain road in Oregon. He was on a motorcycle and entering what ...

For the future »

Advocates hope Food Day eventually gains same staying power as Earth Day

Hubbard squash, a plant native to the region, is among the crops being grown by Brett Ramey on the Iowa Reservation near White Cloud. The squash will be used in a variety of dishes this weekend at the Haskell Indian Nations University indigenous food festival. The event is one of many being held over the next week and half in celebration of Food Day.

In spring 1970, at a time when industries could pump and dump practically whatever they wanted into the skies and waters, U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson ...

Westar Energy »

Westar begins citywide hookup to smart grid today

John Valdez installs Westar Energy's new SmartStar meters Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011, at the Graystone Apartments in Lawrence.

Starting today, Lawrence will get a little smarter. Well, at least the electric meters in the city will. Westar Energy is beginning the mass installation ...

Making good choices »

Lawrence Electronic Recycling Event, Saturday, October 15th

The City of Lawrence will host an electronic recycling event on Saturday, October 15th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Free State High ...

For the future »

Don't forget: The Homegrown Lawrence Festival starts at 5:30 p.m.

Got Friday night plans? Tonight's Late Night at the Phog, of course, but if you aren't checking out the Jayhawks' first official scrimmage of 2011-2012, ...

Making good choices »

Add a little green to your Jayhawk tailgate

Crowds gathered on the hill near Memorial Stadium to tailgate for Thursday evening's KU football game against K-State.

What’s crimson and blue and green all over? With these tips, we hope it will be this weekend’s tailgate. An 8:15 p.m. start time for ...

For the future »

Pieces of razed buildings find new life at 'clean fill' site

Holli Joyce, stands on the edge of a Kansas City property that borders Interstate 70. Once a 1900s rock quarry, the property is now the site of a clean fill project, which accepts demolition debris with the hope of reusing the material.

Kansas City, Kan. — On a dead-end street in a not-so-nice neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan., a makeshift open air showroom has been set up ...

Making good choices »

Tips for removing leaves the green way

Turner Omelau, 7, left, hides inside a compost bag from his friend Taloa Lena, 6, as the two raked and played in the leaves in front of their houses in East Lawrence, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. The city is encouraging people to compost or mulch leaves rather than burn them or put them in the trash.

We all love the beauty of the changing leaves. What’s less enjoyable is managing them once they fall off the trees. Here are some ways ...

For the future »

Study of possible changes to Lawrence's trash and recycling system creating questions

You thought your trash day was a chore. Lawrence city commissioners are inching closer to their own trash day as a city-appointed task force moves ...

For the future »

EPA administrator job a whole new environment for KU professor

Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks lives in Lawrence and is a Kansas University professor of environmental history. Brooks took on the role of EPA Region 7 administrator in 2010.

Attached to Karl Brooks’ hip is a ringing, buzzing reminder of how much his life has changed in the past year and a half. When ...

Westar Energy »

Westar to offer $100 home energy audit program

Just as the state’s Efficiency Kansas home energy audit program comes to an end, Westar Energy has announced a program that could replace it. Westar ...

Making good choices »

Lawrence writer uncovers homes made from materials destined for the dump

Jessica Kellner, editor of Natural Home and Garden magazine, is pictured on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2011 in the dining area of her Lawrence home. Kellner, who has craftily furnished her own home with many reclaimed items, recently wrote a book about homes made of items that were otherwise destined for the dump.The book is called Housing Reclaimed.

As editor of the Topeka-based magazine Natural, Home & Garden, Jessica Kellner had plenty of stories of families and organizations from across the country who ...

For the future »

Land with historic buildings latest easement for Kansas Land Trust

A 261-acre property in Clay County that houses threatened bird populations and historic structures dating back to pioneer days is the latest piece of land ...

For the future »

Nature advocate inspires Lawrence crowd

Author Richard Louv poses on the dock at the Miramar Reservoir in San Diego Monday June 27, 2005.

In the mind of Richard Louv, the clump of trees at the end of a suburban cul-de-sac is just as important as Yosemite National Park ...

Friends of the Kaw »

Third Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Friends of the Kaw will host the third annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival at 7:00pm on Friday, October 14 at Liberty Hall (646 Massachusetts ...

For the future »

$500,000 grant will help green buses

A $500,000 grant will help “green up” how students in Kansas get to school. Funded through Westar Energy and managed through the Kansas Association for ...

Making good choices »

State honors leaders in sustainability

Across Kansas, businesses, educational institutions and government offices have signed up to become “Green Teams.” Each year, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment recognizes ...

For the future »

Seed money: Homegrown Lawrence Festival raises money to get school gardens growing

Sesha Edie, 5, right, shows her father Brian something she found while playing in the garden while Jessica, left, helps Mira, 2, with a water bucket. Brian is an organizer of the Homegrown Lawrence Festival, Oct. 14. Part of his inspiration for working on the festival, which raises funds to start school gardens, is that Secha will start at public school next year.

How does your garden grow? If you’re a Lawrence school, you grow through grass-roots support. Several student gardens have sprouted up over the past few ...

Log in to your WellCommons account.

You may also use your LJWorld.com, Lawrence.com or KUSports.com account.

Forgotten your password?

Don’t have a WellCommons account? Get one now!

An account lets you join in the conversation, mark your favorites, get your own Blog and more.