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Published: Thu, November 10, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

TransCanada looking to engage with Trump administration on Keystone XL

TransCanada looking to engage with Trump administration on Keystone XL

Supporters of the Keystone XL see new life being breathed into the shelved oil pipeline project with Donald Trump in the White House.

Obama rejected the cross-border crude oil pipeline last November, seven years after it was first proposed, saying it would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to the USA economy.

"We are evaluating ways to engage the new administrations on the benefits, the jobs and the tax revenues this project brings to the table", TransCanada spokesperson Mark Cooper said in an email.

In May, Trump said that if elected, he would "100 percent" approve Keystone XL, which would carry 830,000 barrels per day from Alberta to Nebraska, but would seek a better deal.

Obama's decision past year to deny the permit was a victory for environmentalists who campaigned against the project. "TransCanada remains fully committed to building Keystone XL".

By then, the estimated cost of the project had almost doubled to US$10 billion and TransCanada was subsequently forced to take a $2 billion charge for the money it already spent preparing to build the pipeline. In response, TransCanada filed a $15-billion North American Free Trade Agreement challenge and lawsuit attempting to nullify Obama's decision. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the pipeline "would significantly undermine" efforts to fight climate change.

President Obama a year ago rejected the company's permit to build Keystone XL, which would run from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast.

"I want the Keystone pipeline, but the people of the United States should be given a significant piece of the profits", he said in May.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has supported the pipeline in the past, while interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose urged Trudeau in a statement Wednesday to move quickly to push the project forward. Production of tar sands oil in Canada is not growing. In addition to TransCanada's stock price, shares in Dakota Access Pipeline proponent Energy Transfer Partners climbed 11 per cent. The company has also sued the administration to try to force approval.

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