Business leaders turn screws on Obama to approve Keystone XL pipeline

TORONTO – A who’s who of North America’s business leaders are turning the screws on the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

They’ve sent a letter to Obama urging him to approve the controversial pipeline problem.

The letter is signed by more than 165 CEO’s and presidents of companies ranging from Boeing to AT&T to Caterpillar Inc. and ExxonMobil.

The letter says the decision on Keystone will affect both investor confidence and the ability of the U.S. economy to speedily grow.

There has been intense opposition to Keystone, which would ship crude oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

But the letter, dated Oct. 9, says it’s possible to manage the environmental risks that many people are concerned about.

“Those risks, like those incumbent in many other significant projects, must – and can – be managed, through appropriate regulation and careful stewardship,” the letter states. “Keystone XL will meet nearly 60 special conditions set by regulators to minimize risks, and ultimately the net environmental impact of the pipeline would be minimal.”

“We urge you to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to signal to the world that the necessary ingredients for a strengthened U.S. recovery are in place and bolster the foundations of U.S. competitiveness and energy security,” the letter concludes.

Trans-Canada Corporation (TSX:TRP) issued a news release Thursday night, expressing its satisfaction with the fact the letter was sent to Obama.

The temperature on Keystone has risen in recent weeks with Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowing that Canada would not take “‘no’ for an answer until the project is approved.

The majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives, and some Democrats, have long been staunch supporters of Keystone XL. Last year Republicans pushed a mandate through Congress demanding Obama approve the $5.3-billion pipeline within a strict deadline.

But the State Department was still assessing the project amid concerns from the state of Nebraska that Keystone XL posed risks to a crucial drinking water aquifer.

The president invited TransCanada to submit another application, one that would reroute the pipeline around the aquifer.

Environmentalists argue that approving Keystone XL will encourage oilsands crude production, which emits more carbon into the atmosphere than conventional oil production.




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Business leaders turn screws on Obama to approve Keystone XL pipeline

  1. As a wise man once told me ” Mr.Harper knows how to cook a chicken”

  2. Obama could have rejected the proposal in its entirety or ruled in favor conditional to agreement by Nebraska regarding routing 2 years ago. To delay because of routing and then flip to another issue after routing had been agreed to sends the wrong signal to those trying to grow the economy. The company deserves to know. He should approve it or tell them how the proposal is deficient and stand by it. Then they could decide whether they can make the standard or move on. Ideally they would have been told what the conditions would be before starting the process. Movable goalposts don’t promote business.

    • I think the company is well aware of why the proposal is deficient. It’s not like millions of concerned citizens haven’t been spelling out in careful detail why it’s a bad idea for years now. Chief among the risks is that runaway climate change stands to devastate the global economy within the coming decades if this pipeline, and in turn continued tarsand expansion, are approved.

      • The company was told it was rejected for one reason in early 2012 then worked out that problem only to be told now it’s something else. So you prefer railing it instead? Expansion can still occur with rail. By the end of next year sufficient numbers of new cars will be available to act as a stop gap while waiting for a less obstructive administration.

  3. A recent decision handed down by a panel established by the Federal Minister of the Environment and the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board admits that the expansion of oil sands mining and processing in Northern Alberta will lead to “significantly adverse” and “potentially irreversible” environmental effects as shown here:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2013/07/how-alberta-government-views-oil-sands.html

  4. Tar sands production is bad for the environment, bad for people and bad for the earth. It shouldn’t be done by any measure as the technology to mitigate the risks does not exist. TransCanada continues to lie publicly: their ads tout gas cost reduction to US citizens and 40,000 jobs, all of which have been fact checked and found to be misleading, if not outright lies. The only ones who would benefit from this pipeline are the oil companies and big corporations who can make billions from this.
    This pipeline will have no direct benefit for the economy, U.S. or other, any positive jobs impact will be short-term and small. The potential risk, direct with possible fuel spills and contamination, and indirect with a vast increase in support for oil processing capacity and the carbon pollution harm that brings, are too catastrophic to ignore.

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