Keystone XL project rejected

9. November, 2015 News No comments

The Keystone Pipeline System is an oil pipeline system in Canada and the United States, commissioned in 2010, owned by TransCanada. It runs from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas, oil tank farms and an oil pipeline distribution center in Cushing, Oklahoma. 

Three phases of the project are in operation:

  • the Keystone Pipeline (Phase I),
  • the Keystone-Cushing extension (Phase II)
  • the Gulf Coast Extension (Phase III)

The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline (Phase IV) would have same starting and final points as the Phase I pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City, Nebraska, but with a shorter route and a larger-diameter pipe. It would’ve transported 830,000 barrels per day of heavy oil sands – about 700,000 barrels from Canada – while picking up an additional 100,000 or so barrels from heavy U.S. plays.

On 6th of November 2015 US President Barack Obama announced his administration’s decision to reject TransCanada Corp.’s application for a permit to construct the controversial Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

Obama said that this pipeline would not have made a serious impact on jobs or American prospect but may in fact cause pollution and lead to more climate problems.


The decision revealed opposite attitudes. “It’s ironic that the administration would strike a deal to allow Iranian crude onto the global market while refusing to give our closest ally, Canada, access to U.S. refineries […] The White House has placed political calculations above sound science. Seven years of review have determined the project is safe and environmentally sound, yet the administration has turned its back on Canada with this decision, and on U.S. energy security as well.” said API president and CEO Jack Gerard.

On Keystone XL project’s webside, TransCanada says: “In light of this decision we will review our options, which will include filing a new application to receive a Presidential Permit for a cross border crude oil pipeline from Canada to the United States. “

On the other hand, May Boeve, executive director at, said in a statement “This is a big win. President Obama’s decision to reject Keystone CL because if its impact on the climate is nothing short of historic and sets and important precedent that should send shockwaves through the fossil fuel industry.”

We will see how the situation develop. Keystone XL was always just a lone pipeline. On its own, this rejection won’t lead to tectonic shifts in either oil markets or climate-change policy. Although, as a potent symbol, the death of Keystone does prefigure a few important trends that are now unfolding: the rise of supply-side environmentalism and Canada’s oil sands industry getting squeezed. As for the oil sands industry in Alberta, it’s still grinding along, putting out more than 2 million barrels of crude per day. But the prospects for further growth look much weaker than they did just a few years back.


Image source:,

About author