TransCanada’s XL Pipeline decision on hold

The $7 billion XL Pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp has hit a snag in the approval process. The U.S. State Department has ordered an environmental assessment for a new route for the pipeline, a move which will insure that President Barack Obama will not have to deal with the controversial issue until after the 2012 elections.
The pipeline route has already been the subject of 40 months of review, public meetings, onsite consultations, and three environmental assessments. TransCanada CEO Russ Girling has expressed his company’s disappointment that the State Department has decided to assess the potential of alternative routes in Nebraska which he says have already been considered by Trans Canada and rejected because the current route is one the company considered safest and with the least potential for environmental impact.
Opponents have raised concerns that the current route sends the bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands over the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies drinking water to 1.5 million people in 8 states.
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