TransCanada to Reroute Keystone XL: Obama Faces New Political Obstacles

TransCanada has just announced a plan to refile its application for Keystone XL pipeline. The announcement was made during an energy conference, which is currently taking place in Houston.  Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada’s president of oil and pipelines stated at the conference “I’ve committed that TransCanada will reroute around the Sand Hills.”

The previous pipeline was blocked by President Obama, who stated the need for further review of the pipeline. The new planned pipeline is expected to avoid Sand Hills, an aquifer located in Nebraska, which many feared could effect the watersupply if there was a  mishap. Alex Pourbaix stated “I’ve committed that TransCanada will reroute around the Sand Hills.”

Pourbaix said that, although TransCanada has not yet decided on an exact alternative route for Keystone XL, it has several paths in mind. Pourbaix said the reroute is likely to be “modest” and will only add about 20 miles to the current length of the pipeline, which is expected to be 1,700 miles when completed.


The company plans to file the application in two months. The new announcement will likely be a headache for the Obama Administration as the elections approach. The previous pipeline released a fierce debate between the GOP who stated the need for more oil energy independence, and environmentalists who feared water saffety issues and prefer alternative energy. With price of Gasoline now at over $4 in many parts of the country, and with the pipeline expected to avoid the aquifer, Obama will face further pressure to approve the pipeline, which is likely to anger the strong supporters of alternative energy.