WASHINGTON-The Keystone XL oil pipeline is on the verge of being approved by the US government, a full eight years and six months after Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. applied for a permit that was beset by political drama.
"The U.S. Department of State will be in compliance with the deadline laid out in the January 24, 2017, presidential memorandum regarding construction of the Keystone XL pipeline", the official said in an email.
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The property tax revenue associated with the Keystone XL pipeline would help local counties and schools recover from the projected spending cuts in state aid. Calgary-based TransCanada has promised as many as 13,000 construction jobs - 6,500 a year over two years - but the State Department previously estimated a far smaller number.
"Monday is the deadline, so that's what we're working towards", Cunha said.
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The project will funnel crude oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast. The pipeline's opponents contend the jobs will be minimal and short-lived, and say the pipeline won't help the USA with energy needs because the oil is destined for export. This move will clear the way for the White House to issue a presidential permit.
TransCanada has said about half of the steel for the Keystone project will come from the USA, according to Politico.
The AP said senior US officials said the decision will come from Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon as his boss, former oil executive Rex Tillerson, has recused himself from the decision.
Members of the Public Service Commission generally take about seven months to approve or deny an application, but they can postpone a decision for up to a year.
In rejecting the pipeline, the Obama administration had argued it would undercut USA efforts to clinch a global climate change deal that was reached weeks later in Paris. Tillerson is the former CEO of oil company Exxon Mobil, and environmental groups and others had argued it would be a conflict of interest for Tillerson to weigh in on the pipeline's fate. He has pledged to have all steel used for the pipeline come from the United States.