The PJ Tatler

New Keystone Application Filed; Administration Expects to Finish Review After Election

The company behind the Keystone XL pipeline has filed a new permit application to build the northern part of the project.

But the administration says that its review won’t be done until after the presidential election.

Trying to fend off criticism of the Keystone project’s earlier denial, President Obama about-faced to support the southern part of the pipeline, from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf of Mexico, and vowed to expedite the process for the rest of it once the company reapplied.

TransCanada Corp. has done just that, the State Department reported minutes ago.

“The new application includes proposed new routes through the state of Nebraska,” the media note states. “The Department is committed to conducting a rigorous, transparent and thorough review.

“Under Executive Order 13337, it is the Department’s responsibility to determine if granting a permit for the proposed pipeline is in the national interest. We will consider this new application on its merits. Consistent with the Executive Order, this involves consideration of many factors, including energy security, health, environmental, cultural, economic, and foreign policy concerns.

“We will begin by hiring an independent third-party contractor to assist the Department, including reviewing the existing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from the prior Keystone XL pipeline review process, as well as identifying and assisting with new analysis.”

The State Department said that the review conducted by Nebraska is expected to take six to nine months.

The federal review is expected to take a little bit longer.

“Previously when we announced review of alternate routes through Nebraska this past fall, our best estimate on when we would complete the national interest determination was the first quarter of 2013,” the department added.